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Mitglied seit 26.11.2007
125 Eselohren, 26 Bücher, 34 auf dem Wunschzettel, 2 Rezensionen, 0 Tags, 16 Bewertungen (Ø 4), 0 Gruppen, 1 Freund
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Rezension vom 23.02.2017
Lauren Oliver's 'Before I Fall' was a pleasant surprise in the world of YA mysteries.
In the first chapter, you get to know high school student Samantha Kingston and her group of girlfriends. The four girls are pretty, mean and selfish snobs who get away with everything.
When the narrator Sam wakes up on a friday morning, it's a typical day for her: friends, boyfriend, school, and a party. Except she dies in an accident on her way home - and wakes up the next day to repeat the day all over again.
Sam relives her last day for a whole week. In the course of the book, she tries to figure out what she has to do in order not to die. Everyday, she changes various things that has a certain effect on people surrounding her or the day in general. In doing so, she starts to see herself and her actions in a new light and figures out what's really important.
There is little I didn't like about Before I Fall. You get a feel for the characters before you certainly can match any of them with a person in real life. It's all the more exciting to see Sam's development. Lauren Oliver also succeeds in combining sensitive topics with funny lines, romance and overall typical 'teenage moments'. I also really liked the ending, which is not what you would expect. And that goes for the whole book. It's not your typical YA novel. It enterains you and makes you think at the same time. What would you do and how would you act if you knew this day would be your last?
Rezension vom 12.02.2017
First of all, as some had said before, this really feels a bit 'back to school' :-) But fun nevertheless!
But now on with "The Whale Rider" by Maori writer Witi Ihimaera. The story is about an old Maori tribe and its challenges in modern times, the clash between male and female, between tradition and progress and the co-existence of nature and the people.
When the future leader of the tribe is born a girl, the current chief Koro is deeply disappointed and sees his people in danger. He rejects little Kahu - named after her ancestor, the whale rider - repeatedly but the girl nevertheless develops a strong affection for her great-grandfather. Other then Koro, his family senses that Kahu is special, especially her uncle Rawiri and Nani, Koro's wife. It takes a tragedy and a spiritual happening to convince the chief that Kahu is the chosen one to leadthe tribe successfully into the future.
The story of Kahu is told from the point of view of Rawiri, her unlce. He gives the reader an insight to his family's life, the tiffs between Koro and Nani, and the changes in the tribe.
The parts immersing in Maori mythology have a third person narrator, describing the journey of an ancient, spiritual whale, who brought the tribe's founder to the land. In both parts, some phrases are written in Maori language. That gives the reader a better feeling for a pretty unknown culture. The two storylines also invite the reader to draw parallels between the mythic part and real life, for example the relationship between the whale leader and his first female and Koro and his wife.
For me, "The Whale Rider" was an interesting book with a topic I've never approached before: maori mythology and culture. Therefore it was an interesting read. Nevertheless, the book proved to be a piece of work for me, even as an experienced English reader. I found it hard to build some relation to the main characters. I didn't have the feeling that I got to know them. What was pictured well in contrast, was the (changing) role of women. In a predominantly male world, the females are the ones with the best insight (Nani), the clear head (the female whale) and the blessing (Kahu).
And "The Whale Rider" definitley reminded me to explore different kinds of readings and stray off my comfort zone. Like back in school - or university in my case.