Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Plain Kate by Erin Bow: Book Review

Plain Kate
Erin Bow
ISBN 978-0-545-16664-5
Suggested Ages: 12 and up

Description: Plain Kate lives in a world of magic and curses, where cats can talk and shadows can bring back the dead. As the wood-carver’s daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden talismans seem to reveal hidden truths about their owners. But she and her village have fallen on hard times: Kate’s father dies, crops fail, and a strange sickness is spreading across the countryside. The village is looking for someone to blame, and for her skill with a knife, Kate is accused of witchcraft. Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: If Kate gives him her shadow, he’ll grant her heart’s wish, and he’ll also find a way for her to escape the angry townspeople. Kate reluctantly agrees, not realizing that she’s given a powerful tool to a man driven mad with grief. Aided by new friends and armed with the carving knife that has never failed to show her the truth, Kate must stop Linay in his terrible plan of revenge and become the heroine she knows is within her.

The Good Stuff

  • Well crafted, beautifully written and unusual storyline
  • You'll need a hanky near the end, especially if you are a big baby like me
  • The author truly understand the haughty arrogance of cats and you can pretty much tell the author is a cat lover
  • I love the cat!
  • Kate is a very unusual and strong girl, I didn't like her at first, but I grew to love her.
  • Cover is spectacular
  • A truly unique story, I can honestly say I haven't read anything quite like it before
  • Some nice dry humour added just when it is needed
  • Ok, one more time, I love that cat!
  • Very realistic secondary characters.
  •   No stereotypical bad guy, you can somewhat understand the choices the villains make
  • Hopeful ending
The Not so Good Stuff
  • a little bit of a downer at times
  • took me a little bit of time to get into it, but once I did I was happy that I did
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"He turned - stepping on her spleen - and sat. "I am sorry," he said. "I don't like it. It is a new word, sorry. It should not be a thing for cats."

"And then, because hope will break the hear better than any sorrow, she started to cry."

"Musssssicians,' the cat spat. "Do you know what fiddle strings are made of? Bah! I'm glad he's gone. Let's eat."

What I Learned
  • That I too am a Cat lover -- ok, I knew that already "Cat's rule, dog's drool"
Who should/shouldn't read
  • Fans of Hunger Games and other dystopian YA literature will love
  • I'm just guessing but serious dog lovers might be offended ; )
  • Not for those who like a light hearted story
  • Honestly, I also think fans of Philip Pullmans will find something to enjoy
4 Dewey's
BTW It was nominated for a CBC Bookie Award, go vote for it if you are interested!  -
I received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review and I got my copy signed at the OLA conference. She was really nice to chat with too : )