July 12, 2013

The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan

I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher via NetGalley. 

Description:Armed with a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with clothes, Kasienka and her mother head for England. Life is lonely for Kasienka. At home her mother's heart is breaking and at school friends are scarce. But when someone special swims into her life, Kasienka learns that there might be more than one way for her to stay afloat.

The Weight of Water is a startlingly original piece of fiction; most simply a brilliant coming of age story, it also tackles the alienation experienced by many young immigrants. Moving, unsentimental and utterly page-turning, we meet and share the experiences of a remarkable girl who shows us how quiet courage prevails.

My Review: When I first requested this book, I didn’t realize was a novel in verse. I love novels in verse, so I was even more excited when I found out that this book is written in that format. Crossan told a moving story about an immigrant’s experience using  simple but powerful language. While this book only took about an hour to read, Kasienka’s story will stay with me for much longer. Her voice was strong, and I could really feel her loneliness and alienation as well as her courage and determination.The plot was engaging, and it explored issues with bullying and complicated family relationships. Despite some of the sad subject matter, I finished the book feeling hopeful and inspired. 

I know a lot of other readers are hesitant to pick up novels in verse, but don’t let the format deter you from picking up this beautifully written book! I can see why this debut novel ended up on the Carnegie Medal shortlist

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