I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The November Girl by Lydia Kang
Published by Entangled Publishing on November 7th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Magical Realism, Fantasy
Source: Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours
**A November Goodreads Best Book of the Month!**
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.
"Three-dimensional vividness...An emotional and dramatic tale of an otherworldly relationship."--KIRKUS REVIEWS
The November Girl is a beautifully written novel that was touching, unexpected, and magical. Lydia Kang’s writing is wonderfully atmospheric, painting the world in vivid and stunning detail. This magical realism story is definitely darker and creepier than I was expecting but I loved where the story went. I struggled a bit to connect with Anda and Hector at the beginning, but I was cheering for them by the end.
Every November, Anda is able to unleash her true nature, no longer confined to hiding from the humans who would never understand her. The seasonally deserted Isle Royale is her playground, the place made inhabitable by the November storms that Anda creates. Hector is running away from the violence and insidious abuse that permeates every aspect of his life. When he decides to hide on Isle Royale, he may end up changing the course of both their lives.
When I first started reading this book, I was slightly worried that it would end up being a tale about Hector saving Anda. And it is that story. However, it’s also the story of Anda saving Hector. Most importantly, The November Girl is ultimately the story of Hector and Anda saving themselves. I loved the self-determination present in this novel, it elevated this story above other YA novels I’ve read lately. While I did struggle to connect with the characters at the beginning, I slowly fell in love with both of these beautifully flawed souls. In particular, I applaud the author for how sensitively she handled Hector’s past. Additionally, I loved that Anda didn’t have to hide who she was from Hector.
This book was definitely slower paced so if you’re looking for a novel with constant action, this may not be for you. However, the pacing works beautifully with the atmosphere. I felt as if I could see the shipwrecks and feel the storms. The stillness of the island focused the reader’s attention on Anda and Hector’s interactions. Tentative at first, their relationship develops into something beautiful. Plus, the ending was just absolute perfection.
The November Girl was the perfect fall read. This beautifully written standalone novel was full of storms, magic, and friendship. I would recommend to fans of magical realism who are looking for a slightly darker read.