I had been planning this post for a few days, but then when I actually sat down to write it, I totally blanked out on it. See, this is why it’s a good idea to write notes to yourself!
Ah well, maybe it’ll come back and I’ll give you all an awesome post next Friday 😉
Instead, this week, I’m doing an impromptu book review!
So, a few days ago (Maybe longer…I’m not really sure), I was sitting in the library between classes with no homework to do (Huzzah!), so I puttered around, picking up books and reading blurbs for fun. Then I stumbled across one that caught my interest. It was called Plain Kate, and this was it’s blurb:
Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. When Kate’s village falls on hard times – crops fail, and even Kate’s father falls victim to a deadly fever – the townspeople look for someone to blame, and their eyes fall on Kate.
Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he’ll give Kate the means to escape the town that seems set to burn her, and what’s more, he’ll grant her heart’s wish. It’s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes that she can’t live shadowless forever — and that Linay’s designs are darker than she ever dreamed.
And the cover looked quite fun:
So I thought “Hey, why not?” I like fun fairy-tale-esque books, and what does it mean to be without a shadow? :O I picked it up and started reading, not really expecting something like I found.
Needless to say, I checked it out and read it whenever I had the spare time to.
Plain Kate really ended up taking me by surprise. First of all, don’t judge a book by its cover! The cover and simple title make the initial impression like a lighthearted, whimsical little story, but it’s not. There is a talking cat, though (More on him in a moment 😉 )
Erin Bow’s writing style is beautiful. It’s fast paced, and a little bit different, but easy to read and interesting. She isn’t wordy, but she’s descriptive enough to give you a lovely mental picture of each scene. It also has this fairy-tale feeling to it that I’ve always wanted in my own writing. It’s delightful.
The characters were great. Kate (Katerina Svetlana) is a fantastic protagonist, and I liked her, and the gypsy-like people that she found herself with later were interesting and I liked a few of them. Linay was…well, he was creepy. As who he is unfolds through the story, I found myself both finding him really messed up and liking him at the same time. I suppose saying that I appreciated him as a character is the best wording for that 😛
Then there was Taggle. Lovely little Taggle. He was Kate’s talking cat. He was my favorite ❤ Erin Bow managed to make him both partly human and fully cat. The way she wrote him was perfect. For example: “Taggle was absorbed in the meat pie. ‘It’s covered in BREAD,’ he huffed. ‘What fool has covered MEAT with BREAD?”” He’s lazy and proud and wonderfully catlike. I loved him 😀
So now, for the story. Holy mackerel. Plain Kate jumps into it straight away, only having a little bit of background, and it captures you into its world within the first little bit. It takes you on an amazing adventure with Kate that picks up speed quite quickly. I wanted to keep reading right away, but by the time I had hit the middle, I didn’t want to put it down (Which unfortunately also means that I absolutely devoured the second half and was done with it quickly. QQ. Fast reader problems D: ) It can be sort of dark in some places, if you were younger, especially. I get really invested in books, and this one was one of the ones that was tossing my emotions around in the end. It was sort of a bittersweet ending, still holding onto that taste of fairy-tale-vibes that the whole book had, but it fit it very well.
I could definitely see myself reading this book again, and maybe even seeking out more of Erin Bow’s work if I have time. It’s a fast read, and worth every minute. I’d recommend it 😀
Talk to you soon,
P.S. I haven’t done a review of any sort in foreeeeeever. I hope I did all right 😛