Thursday, November 23, 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway:The November Girl by Lydia Kang

Book Blurb:

The November Girl by Lydia Kang

Publication Date: November 7, 2017

Publisher: Entangled Teen

I am Anda, and the lake is my mother. I am the November storms that terrify sailors and sink ships. With their deaths, I keep my little island on Lake Superior alive.

Hector has come here to hide from his family until he turns eighteen. Isle Royale is shut down for the winter, and there's no one here but me. And now him.

Hector is running from the violence in his life, but violence runs through my veins. I should send him away, to keep him safe. But I'm half human, too, and Hector makes me want to listen to my foolish, half-human heart. And if I do, I can't protect him from the storms coming for us.

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**Music is so important to me so I asked Lydia what songs motivated her with The November Girl**

Music Playlist for The November Girl

Some of these don’t exactly have the lyrics to match the story, but have the emotional content of The November Girl, if that makes sense! (Comments and favorite lyrics included!)

1. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot

This song is the inspiration for the book. This was the first time I’d heard of witches, the storms that sink ships on Lake Superior!

2. Clarity, by Zedd (feat. Foxes)

“If our love is tragedy, why are you my sanity?” <--this

3. Set Fire to the Rain, by Adele.

“It was dark, and I was over, until you kissed my lips and you saved me.”

4. Titanium, by Sia

I love the paranormal theme in this song. Also her voice! from Sia! It’s also such a song of strength, and I imagine it during the epic climax at the end of the book.

5. Crystal, by Stevie Nicks

Loved this since it was in Practical Magic. Love this opening line:

“I turned around, and the water was closing all around like a glove, like the love that had finally, finally found me. And I knew—in the crystalline knowledge of you.”

6. How Deep is Your Love, by The Bird and The Bee

I love this remake of this old 70’s song. It’s had this childish simplicity that I think Anda would love. Love this quote: “’Cause we’re living in a world of fools, breaking us down, they should all just let us be. We belong to you and me. I believe in you.”

7. Slave to Love, by Bryan Ferry

“The storm is breaking

Or so it seems

We're too young to reason

Too grown up to dream

Now spring is turning

Your face to mine

I can hear your laughter

I can see your smile.”

8. Under the Ivy, by Kate Bush.

Such a haunting song! I love the rendition done by Mila Drumke too, an artist I used to love when I lived in NYC.

9. Walk Through Walls, by Katie Hertzog

“When I saw your eyes they stole my heart

And they told me I was living in the dark

And now I’m caught in a great divide

And I’m aching to be on the other side.”

* swoons *

10. Once Upon a Time, Lana Del Rey

I love her version of this old fairy tale song. It’s so dark and forboding, and perfect for the anti-fairy-tale heroine like Anda.


My Review:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Heart-Wrenching, Romance, Supernatural, Survival, Suspense, Teen, Witches--

Hector has one plan, and that is to escape his misery and live out on an abandoned island for a few months until he is 18 and free. But the island is not as abandoned as he anticipated. Instead, a strange girl-beast was left behind and he feels compelled to help her. But what he doesn’t know is that Anda is not just a girl, but instead a creature of great power and destruction.

Yes, I was lured in by the pretty cover and the author, and the synopsis was mysterious enough to intrigue me. Once I started, I can 100% say that I had no idea what would happen next, I could never predict the turns that the story took or the outcome in any way. This could easily be a fairytale, but not one of those happily ever after kinds we have come to expect, but the original Grimm style fairytales full of death and horror and hardships. There was also a clash of real life with fantastical elements, and the questions of whether those elements should ever intersect in life. Oh and don't forget the forbidden romance between two people who should probably never have even met. The writing at times felt like poetry, full of beautiful imagery that ultimately described death.

The story was dual narrated by Anda and Hector, alternating voices at chapters. This was a really unique read since there are really only 2 characters in the story period- a few passersby but for the most part just these two alone or together, unlike most books that have tons of characters thrown in along the way. Anda and Hector are both so broken but in such different ways, but experience equally powerful transformations during the course of these pages.

Hector only knows hurt and rejection, and even Anda makes the connection that Hector was happier with her and her oddities than any home he has had.

"You taste much better than rocks," she says before exiting the store and walking into the sunshine.

Thank God for that.

He has never been able to fit in- either too American and dark skinned, or not dark skinned enough- he feels like he has never belonged or been wanted and it made my heart hurt for him. He was such a caring, giving and considerate person (pretty much the definition of self-sacrificing) even though he never had that care given to him. I felt the urge to hug him so many times or at least step in when he was self-harming, but I could only sit back and watch the world unfold.

Anda is not really a person- at one point she might have been, but her humanity has been cast aside for storms and death, the things that feed her not-human soul. Through Hector she slowly regained her humanity and what being a person really means.

She blinks at me. Apparently, logic is some orange-winged creature she's never met before.

She's a huge mess of inconsistencies and confliciting pieces. Just when I get a good view of her, like a kaleidoscope, she turns and the image transforms into something completely different.

Is it odd that I was fully aware that she was a murderer yet I was still interested and cared about her- can you hate nature that needs cycles for rebirth? There are times in the book that we literally see her murder people and yet she was sympathetic and curious- like a small child or wild creature needing to be tamed. There was a moment where Hector thought she looked like she wanted to eat him, and I kinda agreed with him. But still I found her to be so compelling, the most interesting of characters. I kept questioning whether I wanted her to be "normal" or to give into her nature because it was needed for the island and life (as seen by the words of Hector):

Decomposition and fertilizer and Simba and the circle of life, whatever.

​I have been wanting to read Lydia's books for a while now, I even have purchased a few of her other stories and they are sitting here waiting for me, and if this is a fair representation of what she can write I am am very excited to read more of her work. I will admit that I feel like my heart was rippedout of my chest duriThis was such an emotional, complicated, darkly fantastical journey that I am glad I took and I highly recommend it.

I received this title for review purposes.​

Author Bio:

Lydia Kang is an author of young adult 5c2on, poetry, and narra2ve non-5c2on. She graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine, comple2ng her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She is a prac2cing physician who has gained a reputa2on for helping fellow writers achieve medical accuracy in 5c2on. Her poetry and non-5c2on have been published in JAMA, The Annals of Internal Medicine, Canadian Medical Associa2on Journal, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and Great Weather for Media. She believes in science and knocking on wood, and currently lives in Omaha with her husband and three children.

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