Friday, July 1, 2011
October 31st, 1984, and fifteen-year-old Maya - half Hindu, half Sikh - is traveling from Canada to New Delhi, India with her father. In her arms she carries only two things:
-A brand new diary - her only confidant.
-The ashes of her mother.
Maya and her father have come to India to deliver the ashes to their final resting place. On the very night they arrive, Indira Gandhi - Prime Minister of India - is gunned down in her garden, betrayed by those closest to her. In the hours that follow , the city plunges into chaos, and Maya finds herself at the centre of one of the bloodiest massacres in the country's modern history. Thousands are murdered. Thousands are lost.
Unable to find her father, Maya must disguise her identity and rely upon the help of Sandeep - a boy she's just met - if she is to stay alive and make it home. That is, if she can open her heart enough to love, forgive, and discover what home truly means.
In a Nutshell: Karma is an in-verse historical fiction novel that is as beautiful as it is powerful.
Putdownability Factor: I tore through this book. And not just because it was an in-verse novel either! Its just plain addicting.
Cover Love: I normally don't like pink, but I think this cover is gorgeous. It perfectly captures the essence of the book.
Why did I pick this up? I was emailed by the author Cathy Ostlere and she was kind enough to send me a copy of the book to review! Also, I'm always a sucker for in-verse novels.
Ummmm wow this book is PHENOMENAL. Hands down the best in-verse novel I have ever read, and I've read quite a few in-verse novels! This was my basic thought progression while reading Karma:
Beginning: Oh my gosh, this book is so beautiful. WHY IS IT SO BEAUTIFUL?!?!?
Middle: No one better interrupt me because there is no way you are tearing me away from this book!!!
End: WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE OVER?!?!
Basically the message is that this book kicks some major ass and if you haven't read it yet YOU NEED TO. Why? Allow me to explain.
The characters are absolutely amazing. I think a large part of it is because the book is told in the form of diary entries. Each poem is like a window into Maya, or Sandeep's soul. I apologize for the cliche, but its true. >.< Not only that but Cathy Ostlere brilliantly creates two different voices. Its hard enough to write a dual narrative novel, but one that's completely in verse? Genius.
By far the greatest thing about Karma, is the story itself. Its epic, and sweeps you away into this whirlwind of India, turmoil, and romance. Both Maya and Sandeep have their own journey and the way everything plays out is just beautiful.
If you haven't read yet Karma I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to pick it up. It is definitely one of my favorites, if not THE favorite book I've read all year. I give it 5 out of 5 ice cream cones.
Who would I recommend this book to: Just about anyone! Karma has so many elements to it that I can't imagine someone not finding something to like about it. People who enjoy in-verse novels would particularly like this, as would those who enjoy historical fiction.
Want to learn a little bit more about Karma? Read my interview with the author Cathy Ostlere here!