A reader of AICL has written to tell me she's reading Cynthia Hand's The Last Time We Say Goodbye.
In particular, the reader pointed me to the part of the book where a character named Seth is telling Sadie and Lex (the protagonist) a ghost story about when he saw a shadow on a wall, and that when he turned around to see who was making the shadow, he saw (p. 133):
"...an Indian. He was wearing the buckskins and moccasins and the feather in his hair and the whole Native American ensemble, which was weird enough, but what was weirder was that I could sort of see through him, to that sign on the wall that counted how many days since the last accident."
Seth stepped away, and says that the Indian
"...nodded, all solemn, and then he lifted his hand up like this." Seth raises his palm. "And then he said, "How.'"
"'How'?" I repeat. "'How' what?"
"Like, 'How, white man. I come in peace.' And after that we were totally friends, me and Tonto, and every night after work we'd knock back a beer."
Obviously, we're supposed to think that is amusing, but I don't think it is funny. Sadie starts to pummel him and then (p. 134):
"But seriously, though," he says, "That Circuit City was built on an old Indian burial ground. Look it up on the internet if you don't believe me. And sometimes, for real, we'd hear footsteps or things would be moved in different places when we left the room. Seriously."
My turn to utter that word: Seriously?! Pulling out the stereotypical Indian burial ground trope?! So... what IS this story about? Here's the synopsis:
From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand comes a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go.
Since her brother, Tyler, committed suicide, Lex has been trying to keep her grief locked away, and to forget about what happened that night. But as she starts putting her life, her family, and her friendships back together, Lex is haunted by a secret she hasn't told anyone—a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.
In the tradition of Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why, Gayle Forman's If I Stay, and Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a thoughtful and deeply affecting novel that will change the way you look at life and death.
It may be a deeply affecting story about life and death but it is deeply troubling to see this stereotypical burial ground in it. I know--people will defend it because suicide is something so many people deal with, and this book will help them deal with it...The Last Time We Say Goodbye
, however, joins a very long list of books that help one population at the expense of Native people. I have not read this book but my guess is that Hand could cut these parts completely and the book would be fine.
Published by HarperTeen in February 2015, it will be on my year-end Not Recommended list.
Hi, everyone! Just a quick heads up that there is an awesome YA author event happening this weekend at Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach. I'm not sure if this event was recently added or if we just missed it, but it's definitely happening. Come meet Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows at 2:30pm on Saturday March 29, 2014. From the Mysterious Galaxy website:
"Celebrate the joy and angst of young adulthood, complicated by the paranormal and the romantic, with a trio of authors whose works embrace these themes. Brodi Ashton’s final novel in the myth-inspired Everneath trilogy, Evertrue, will determine the fate of teen Nikki and the Underworld. Publishers Weekly called the series “complex and intriguing. Drawing inspiration from such myths as Osiris, Orpheus, and Persephone, it explores the nature of loss and longing and what it means to be alive.” Cynthia Hand concluded her tale of part-angel Clare Gardner and her Unearthly trilogy with last spring’s Boundless. She just completed non-Unearthly standalone The Last Time We Say Goodbye, and may be enticed to share some tidbits about that book with attendees. And Jodi Meadows asks in her Incarnate trilogy, “What if everyone you knew could live forever . . . except you?” Infinite provides the conclusion to the compelling questions of this world, where one new girl is the key to the lives of millions."
For more info, please visit the store event page here
Hope you can make it out to this awesome event!
Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach
2810 Artesia Blvd.
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
Unearthly (Unearthly, #1), by Cynthia Hand
Release Date: January 4th, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Overall: 4 Monkeys
Interest: SeriesOther Titles in the Series: Untitled (Unearthly, #2)Summary from Goodreads:
In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place —and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make —between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.
Really liked this book! A very good debut for Cynthia Hand!
From the beginning we know Clara's an angel-blood, so that's a plus. We didn't have to wait until the MC figured out what she/he is. But we did have to wait until the very last second to understand Clara's purpose.
All that she knows about her purpose, is that it's something inevitable, something she has
to do, or face the concecuences if she doesn't.
The plot starts with, oh, what a shocker!
, Clara's family moving to a new town, making her and her brother, Jeffrey, the new kids in school. I don't see why they had to move (Clara's purpose makes them move, actually). Clara could have very well had a vision about someone from her own town. I didn't like the cliché, I think it was unnecessary.
Clara will make new friends, and new enemies. Again, another cliché which I didn't like = popular girl vs. new/shy girl. Among her new friends is Wendy.
This book has a major love triangle. It's the main focus of the novel. Clara's between Christian, the boy from her visions, and Tucker, Wendy's brother. She has a pull with Christian, she faints when she sees him, etc. Cliché
. (Didn't I say I liked this book? Because I did! I'm getting to the parts I loved in a little while!)
Tucker, on the other hand, was something out of the blue. Clara begins by being a little reluctant to be around him, but gets to know him better thanks to Wendy. I'm a hopeless romantic, so I liked him better than Christian, and swooned when he appeared. But that doesn't mean it wasn't a cliché either, because it was.
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: HarperTeen, Jan 4, 2011
4 Comments on Book Review: Unearthly, Cynthia Hand, last added: 3/29/2011
WOW. Creepy. I just loved Unearthly
and I've requested Hallowed from NetGalley, so hopefully I'll be reading and reviewing it soon. I have to know what happens to Tucker!
And I think I like this style of cover more, don't you?