Review: A Town Called Dust

A Town Called Dust
A Town Called Dust by Justin Woolley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book was really good.

Despite the typical “girl dresses up as a boy” and “clumsy clueless possibly bastard son has to save the world”, the book manages to avoid cliches pretty well. The writing is very well done and is kept fast-paced to keep the reader’s attention.

The worldbuilding is done really well – very original and no glaring plot holes at all. I’m really looking forward to the second book.

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Book Review: Nest

The following review was written for the book Nest, by Esther Ehrlich. Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of the book.

Nest, as Esther Ehrlich’s debut novel, is a masterpiece of emotions. It’s written for middle graders, but I really enjoyed this book just as much. What makes Nest stand out so much is really it’s simplicity, conveying at the same time a deep message that most children’s books tend to avoid. It talks about life and death and the reader is forced to face it brutally.

Ehrlich has a talent for writing believable characters that you come to love. There’s a perfect balance of “immature little kid” and “intelligent bird lover” in Chirp. Joey is the “annoying boy next door” but also has his own problems and fears that make you pity and care for him. You have Miss Gallagher, who you like and you hate, who can be nice, but is also just as much of a jerk. There’s Rachel, who had teenager problems to deal with along with their mother’s sickness.

The plot of the book is simple. Chirp’s mother get’s diagnosed with MS and Chirp must find a way to cope with this. But Ehrlich executes it in such a wonderful way that it never gets boring or cliche. Everything was unpredictable in the best way. Everything in this book feel original.

I loved how Ehrlich makes references to From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Annabel Lee, both which connect the reader to the book.

The prose in this book is beautiful. Smooth flow, beautiful descriptions but still altogether simple. I loved it wholly and definitely will be looking forward to more of Ehrlich’s books.

Book Review: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

The following review is for the book The Story of Edgar Sawtelle . Please note that this may contain spoilers

Rating: 5/5

Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose remarkable gift for companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar’s lifelong friend and ally. Edgar seems poised to carry on his family’s traditions, but when catastrophe strikes, he finds his once-peaceful home engulfed in turmoil.

Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the Sawtelle farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who accompany him, until the day he is forced to choose between leaving forever or returning home to confront the mysteries he has left unsolved.

This book was absolutely beautiful.

Wroblewski really has a way with words that can blow a reader away and this book really is a masterpiece.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is written simply to be read. It’s a tale to be told, but it’s also a tale you can’t ponder on for too long. Wroblewski is just trying to tell the reader a story. It’s like a fairy tale, some elements might make no sense (like how there could be a house made of ginger bread in the middle of a forest in Hansel and Gretel) but it only adds to the wonder of this book.

Wroblewski really knows how to create an image and the entire story flows perfectly. The characters are heartfelt, sometimes even laughable, but they really reveal parts of personalities that most books don’t portray because, frankly, it’s hard to portray these perks without sounding fake. Just like how Glen does the rehearsing, the fantasies of interrogating Edgar. It may seem weird, but if you think about it, isn’t it quite true that sometimes, people get so engulfed in their fantasies that they try to create them in real life without realizing the consequences?

I do have to admit, there were quite a few places where I didn’t quite understand. The prologue in particular was confusing, and nothing about it quite seemed relevant to the whole story. Ida, the shopkeeper, was weird and I didn’t quite understand the whole thing with her and the coke bottle scene. But none of this was anything big enough for me to give the book negative points.

The biggest problem I had with this book was Edgar anger. Much of it was somewhat confusing. I couldn’t quite understand where his anger was coming from. I could understand that he was angry, but some of his actions were left unexplained and unclear. He acts a little too abruptly and sharply for what seemed like a pretty mellow person, especially since he was raised in an “idyllic” childhood.

Nevertheless, this book is quite a good read and I strongly recommend it to anyone search for just simply a story to read.

The following review was written following the rules for One Book One Review. (With the exception of the 1000 word rule)

Summary courtesy of Goodreads.