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There are not many christian themed fantasy/dystopian books apart from Narnia, and especially not in YA. At least, not that I know of and there definitely aren’t any in Dutch stores. And I think that’s a shame. Well, not that everything should be christian, but I think it would have helped younger me to read a book I actually like, with struggles about faith intertwined that inevitably come up when you’re a teenager. Oh heck, even when you’re in your thirties tbh. I have to point out I love all YA and all different points of views whether it’s muslim or queer or really anything and am very strongly for diversity, and I think this belongs in the diversity issue, that there should be some christian protagonists, especially strong badass girls. I might be totally wrong and this may exist in the States, I just never come across it in the big wide internet, or anything local.

Anyway, then I came across the instagram of Nadine Brandes, the author of this book, and I was blown away. From her feed I could tell we should be best reading buddies forever (don’t worry, I’ll just passively like everything, no stalking). But also I learned that apparently, christian YA does exist. And it’s not boring at all! I have to point out I LOVE the cover, especially the cover of book 2. So when it arrived at my doorstep, I had to peak at the first page. Big mistake, especially since I’m in the middle of the Lunar Chronicles, and book 2 and 3 hadn’t arrived yet (still waiting for book 3 now). One page and I was sold. I couldn’t put it down. I kinda expected it to be good, but it was still better than I thought.

So, the idea is that you know when you’re going to die and there’s a dystopian gouvernment going on. Which is really intruiging (I would love to read more about how people handle that, it seems they’re a bit defeatist about it), especially since they built an entire society around it. The protagonist is pretty sure she’ll die in a year. And she’s slowly realising that she’s done nothing with her life, and she wants to be remembered. Let’s just say her wish does come true. I can’t really say more because I’m really good at spoiling without realising it. I really like the world building and the characters, but what I liked most is how real the MC feels. Her struggle with her faith, most of the time faltering but strong when it matters, her struggle with her purpose in life and discovering how to pray (I also blurt out weird sentences, glad it’s not just me). The story takes unexpected turns, though I have to say I saw the plot twists coming, but I don’t really care about that, I like seeing it play out. One thing that bothered me was the journal. She takes her brothers journal with her, but then just reads a sentence and explodes. A long time later (really, there was so much time to read this), she reads another sentence and explodes again. And then when she finally wants to read it, the journal is ruined. Naturally. It just bugs me, there is much emphasis on the journal through the book but isn’t resolved at all, but it just feels like a quick fix to produce some mystery for the second book. So, that’s really the only thing I didn’t like. I soared through this book, gasped at the ending, and I’m ready to dive into the next one. Here’s to hoping book 3 arrives really, really soon.

Reacties op: This book really makes you think

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A Time to Die - Nadine Brandes
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