Thursday, July 7, 2016

Nora & Kettle By Lauren Nicolle Taylor|Review

Nora & Kettle
Published by Clean Teen Publishing on March 15th, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Pages: 352
Format: eGalley

"What if Peter Pan was a homeless kid just trying to survive, and Wendy flew away for a really good reason?"

Seventeen-year-old Kettle has had his share of adversity. As an orphaned Japanese American struggling to make a life in the aftermath of an event in history not often referred to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the removal of children from orphanages for having "one drop of Japanese blood in them" things are finally looking up. He has his hideout in an abandoned subway tunnel, a job, and his gang of Lost Boys.

Desperate to run away, the world outside her oppressive brownstone calls to naive, eighteen-year-old Nora the privileged daughter of a controlling and violent civil rights lawyer who is building a compensation case for the interned Japanese Americans. But she is trapped, enduring abuse to protect her younger sister Frankie and wishing on the stars every night for things to change.

For months, they've lived side by side, their paths crossing yet never meeting. But when Nora is nearly killed and her sister taken away, their worlds collide as Kettle, grief stricken at the loss of a friend, angrily pulls Nora from her window.

In her honeyed eyes, Kettle sees sadness and suffering. In his, Nora sees the chance to take to the window and fly away.

Set in 1953, Nora & Kettle explores the collision of two teenagers facing extraordinary hardship. Their meeting is inevitable, devastating, and ultimately healing. Their stories, "a collection of events, are each on their own harmless. But together, one after the other, they change the world.

My Thoughts

NetGalley Review A roller coaster of emotion!!! Nora & Kettle is sure to melt your heart in every humanly way possible. I guarantee it. Both Nora's and Kettle's lives have not been easy. World War II has finally come to an end, but emotions and prejudices still obstruct people's view of others. Japanese Americans are free from the internment camps, unfortunately, they feel as if they'll be sent back at any given moment. For Kettle, this is his life. He and his 'Lost Boys' sleep on the streets and work wherever they are accepted. With little money, food, and respect, must do everything in his power to keep himself and the Kings safe. Meanwhile, Nora struggles with her own hardships. Her father. It's no secret that she is her father's own punching bag. After the death of her mother, Nora and her younger sister, Francis, now have to face his wrath alone. Vowing to protect her sister, Nora becomes what her mother once was. A shield. For several months, nothing seems to change. The hunger. The beatings. Their lives stagnant in an ever-changing world. Until tensions rise, sickness worsens, words are spoken, and punches are thrown. Nora's and Kettle's cross paths in the most unusual way. But unusual and unlikely are what they live for. Together, they fly. This book is truly one of a kind! I loved ever second of it. The characters. The hardships. The setting. The kindness. The writing. Everything about this book was perfect. Lauren Nicolle Taylor, your writing is flawlessly beautiful. You make writing look simplistically easy and effortless. I greatly admire your character development and ability to capture raw emotions throughout the book. It's been a while since a book has made me cry. Genuine characters shape the book into something more than just words on a page. Lauren Nicolle Taylor does a fantastic job at portraying each character through emotions, expressions, and dialogue. Now I neeeed to talk about Nora and Kettle before I explode!

"My heart aches for this girl. Aches and understands. We are more similar than I could have ever imagined."
First of all, Kettle, why can't I have you in my life! Throughout the entire book, is it obvious Kettle is a determined, kind, curious, and adorable, young gentleman. He is constantly look out for his friends, placing himself behind everyone. When Kettle meets Nora, nothing changes. He treats her with the kindness and respect as he would to Kin. He makes my heart warm. And then he gives Nora a King name! Honestly, I hadn't thought too much about the cover until Kettle finally mentioned Kite. Nora and Kettle. Kite and Hiro.
"He sits with his elbows resting on his knees, turns his head slowly. 'What?'"
Though Nora has the resources to bathe each night, wear numerous clean outfits, and go to bed with a full belly, she does endure something equally as bad as Kettle. I admired her strength and will to keep pushing forward. When she finally broke free, I felt as if a weight had been lifted off of my chest. Her innocence made Kettle's glares and responses even more adorable.
"'Wait'. I grab her hand and she stares at me, amber eyes melting. I lift my thumb to the corner of her mouth and rub away the red smudge. She blushes, lowers her eyes and again.. My heart."
Although Nora and Kettle don't officially meanwhile 2/3's of the way through, you still learn quite a lot about each of their characters. The last third of the book is where the story really picks up. Lots of drama and heart-pounding suspense. I was a little disappointed with the ending. It seemed a little rushed. Plus, I was hoping Nora would be reunited with Frances. With very a few complaints, I highly recommend this book.

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