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young adult book reviews & more

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

A Northern LightThe year is 1906. Mattie Gokey is only sixteen years old. She is fascinated by books and words and desperately wants to go to college. She has the brains, but not the means. Her family has been struggling financially ever since the death of her mother. Mattie feels that she’ll be trapped in Eagle Bay until an interesting set of circumstances permits her to take a job at the Glenmore Hotel. With this opportunity, Mattie plans to save up as much money as she can so that she can make it to college.

But the death of a hotel guest, Grace Brown, leads Mattie to question everything in her life. Right before Grace’s death, Grace asked Mattie to burn a packet of her letters. Going against Grace’s wishes, Mattie reads the letters and learns the truth behind Grace’s death. Other events, such as a marriage proposal, discovering that her idolized teacher is not who she says she is, and new that a poor neighbor’s land is being auctioned, make Mattie reconsider her life choices.

A Northern Light was a simply amazing novel. it was so much more than I expected. It was a wonderful retelling of an actual historical occurrence, the murder of Grace Brown, and this made the story all the more interesting. I also enjoyed the incorporation of romance and Mattie’s love of books. I see so much of myself in her because we are bother obsessed with books and want to go far in the world, and I think this made it easy for me to relate to her. There isn’t much seen of the other characters because the novel is told from Mattie’s perspective, but Mattie’s interaction or descriptions of them made them realistic. I also liked how everything was tied up nicely at the end. What was a little confusing was how the story jumped around a bit. The story starts from after Grace’s death, then goes before the event, and jumps around again. This made the story a little confusing to read, but in a way, it helped me understand the story better.

I definitely recommend A Northern Light to all readers, especially fans of historical fiction. This amazing novel definitely makes me look forward to more exciting historical novels.

Rating: 4.75

Review copy from personal collection

10 munch(es) :

keri mikulski :) said...

Read this a couple of years ago and enjoyed it too! :)

TinaFerraro said...

This is one of my favorite books--ever. And I was thrilled and amazed to find out that my editor, Krista Marino, was an assistant at the time to the editor of the book. She enthralled me with the editing details over dinner one night. So much fun!

Tasha said...

I loved this book so much! I read it a couple of years ago and am definitely thinking it's time to read it again!!

Liviania said...

One of the few historical fiction novels I like - great choice.

Also, I love your list of contests.

Anilee said...

This is my second favorite book. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale is first.

Liv said...

This looks really good and I've heard a ton of positive things about it, so I'll have to check it out!

Jessica Burkhart said...

This sounds great! I've been meaning to read a historical.

Lana said...

I found it very easy to relate to Mattie as well - I'm guessing bookish teens everywhere can sympathize. I was really impressed with the way Donnelly evoked how difficult it is to have dreams that people around you just can't relate to.

I've linked to your review here.

Melody said...

really good :)

we had to read this book for our elective in english

Anonymous said...

the author is my computer teacher no lie i swear i even asked her i was like wow ! and i have a report on the book on tuesday im in seventh grade i know u guys wont believe me but it is true !!!!!!!!! i go 2 school in nj!!

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