18 May 2012

The Storyteller

Author: Antonia Michaelis
Series: Stand Alone
Genres: Realistic, Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Publisher: Abrams
Released: 2011
Summary: via goodreads.com Anna and Abel couldn’t be more different. They are both seventeen and in their last year of school, but while Anna lives in a nice old town house and comes from a well-to-do family, Abel, the school drug dealer, lives in a big, prisonlike tower block at the edge of town. Anna is afraid of him until she realizes that he is caring for his six-year-old sister on his own. Fascinated, Anna follows the two and listens as Abel tells little Micha the story of a tiny queen assailed by dark forces. It’s a beautiful fairy tale that Anna comes to see has a basis in reality. Abel is in real danger of losing Micha to their abusive father and to his own inability to make ends meet. Anna gradually falls in love with Abel, but when his “enemies” begin to turn up dead, she fears she has fallen for a murderer. Has she?
My Review: There are only so many things that can be said about this book, the first being that I was not a fan. Although I found the premise promising, as the story progressed, and became darker and darker, I found myself getting lost. Not in a good way. Abel is such a torn and twisted character, and although everything in me wanted to like him, he is supposed to be the heroic lead after all, he was so seriously flawed that I could never get myself to that point. I wish that I could say there were some redeeming qualities in the ending, but sadly there was nothing. This is a book about a young man's life spinning out of control fast, and the girl he takes down with him. It left a bad taste in my mouth.
The writing, however, was very well done. The stories that Abel told and the actual story itself were effortlessly weft together. The mystery that runs throughout the novel is well written, and when it comes apart in the end it is definitely a surprise (which is usually the point of a mystery - correct?) The biggest problem I had was with the subject material, it was depressing not just mildly depressing either, all out pop a prozac depressing. However, even though it wasn't for me, that doesn't mean you won't like it. I think it is an accurate portrayal of how kids are growing up today, especially those that live in metropolises of both Europe and the States. However, I, the suburban white kid who loves happy endings, found the material to be slightly disconcerting, un-relateable and heavy. 

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