Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Time to Die

A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes

Summary: Parvin Brielle Blackwater has one year left to live. She is only seventeen and fears she has wasted her life. But her clock is ticking down and nothing can make up for her wasted life, unless she can do something worthwhile in the year she has left. She sets out to write an auto biography to show the world that not everyone needs to be given a clock at birth. After all, she and her twin brother Reid have been sharing a clock since they were born even though it is illegal. There is a problem with her plan though. When the government finds out and she is forced to say the clock is Reid's she is sent over the wall, which is a death sentence. But convinced she only has one year left anyways, she does what no one has done before, and sets out to learn everything she can about life behind the wall. What she finds will change her life, and maybe just save her people.

I don't really know how to write this review. I loved the book but I feel like I am betraying the characters to say that. I gave it a five star rating on Goodreads but was sure Jude was glaring at me. I nearly knocked my rating down, not because the book is horrible, but because I didn't think I could endure Jude's glare for the rest of my life. His look of betrayal. His gaze of, "How could you?"

Let me start with the basics. The plot is dystopian. Not my favourite kind of genre, but this wasn't as bad. I didn't feel as lost as with other books. I understood the world and what was going on pretty well, even right off. I could see the village Parvin lived in, then the rest of the world she was thrown into. I didn't feel like I was wandering through a fog and ashes, unsure of what was going on around me.
There were a lot of intense moments in the book, and I felt like I was living them with Parvin. I was drawn into the story, every part of it.

The story is told in first person present, I believe it is called. Another thing I have never liked in books, but with this it worked. I was impressed.

This all brings me to the characters. There were many characters in this book, but I never felt overwhelmed or forgot who was who. All of them had their own personality, were so life like they jumped off the page and made it impossible to forget them. My favourites were Reid and Willow, side character wise. Willow was sweet and I loved her ability to brighten scenes up. Reid was everything a twin brother should be and I adored his scenes with Parvin.
Parvin herself seemed to fade into the background in the beginning of the book - just like she did in her life. She was quiet but also spoke up and lost her temper when riled. She suffered doubt and feelings of uselessness and unworth. But she grew and changed until at the end of the book she was hardly the same timid girl at the beginning.
Jude was another character I loved. A lot. He was rougher, and I was never sure if I could trust him, but I liked him. He was always there for Parvin, he did his best to look out for her and keep her safe, even when he was being a grouch - and he did so well at being a grouch. I don't even know why I loved him so much, but I did.
Solomon Hawke was another favourite. He was opposite Jude. Sweet, quiet, not as grumpy. He wasn't in the book as much as Jude but I loved him equally and - from the way it ended - hope he will be more in book two.

So, I did love this book. I will read the rest in the series. I would recommend it. Highly. I think I would recommend it with a warning though. When I finished it I had to go and slam a door, and even now when I think of the ending I feel like slamming something. So read it, love it, and keep a door nearby when you get closer to the end. And hope book two will be out soon.

Nadine's blog can be found HERE

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