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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Book Review: Winter's End by Jean-Claude Mourlevat

Winter's End by Jean-Claude Mourlevat
Translated by Anthea Bell
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Release Date: November 10, 2009
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 432
From: Publisher

Summary: In a gripping dystopian novel, four teenagers risk impossible odds to fight against tyranny in a world of dangerous choices — and reemerging hope. Escape. Milena, Bartolomeo, Helen, and Milos have left their prison-like boarding schools far behind, but their futures remain in peril. Fleeing across icy mountains from a terrifying pack of dog-men sent to hunt them down, they are determined to take up the fight against the despotic government that murdered their parents years before. Only three will make it safely to the secret headquarters of the resistance movement. The fourth is captured and forced to participate in a barbaric game for the amusement of the masses — further proof of the government’s horrible brutality. Will the power of one voice be enough to rouse a people against a generation of cruelty? Translated from the French, this suspenseful story of courage, individualism, and freedom has resonated with young readers across the globe.

My Review: Winter's End is a refreshing, action packed, emotional roller coaster ride. I enjoyed the narration and the details helped me set up a scene in my mind. The chapter opens up by describing the harsh treatment that Milena, Bartolomeo, Helen, and Milos suffer in the boarding school. It sort of reminded me of a twisted comparison between Madeline and Another Faust. I learned to care for each character and also distinguished their personalities. The book takes a surprising turn after the teens escape the school and go on a journey to look for freedom. The hardships that they face is unbelievable since the "Phalange" who is a fascist organization in power seeks to kill them. I also loved the fact that with all the running and hiding, they still managed to keep some romance. I sometimes "awwed" at the adorable comments between the first time lovers among the teens. I really liked the concept of a bunch of teens running away to succeed freedom but also causing an uproar that will aim to take down the government. However, the ending was bittersweet, I couldn't help but feel happy and sad at the same time. Overall, a nice entertaining YA book.
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Author's Info:
Jean-Claude Mourlevat once wrote and directed burlesque shows for adults and children, which were performed for more than ten years in France and abroad. The author of several children’s books, he lives in a house overhanging the River Loire, near Saint-Etienne, France. Anthea Bell is an award-winning translator of French and German fiction, including the Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke. She lives near Cambridge, England.


Charlotte (The Book on the Hill) said...

I had never heard of Jean-Claude Mourlevat before, and I'm quite ashamed since I'm... well... French ! I visited his website and I didn't know any of his books. I'll probably check them out sooner or later. This book sounds interesting, great review and thanks for sharing (and opening my eyes to yet another French author) !

Kelsey said...

Never heard of this before, but it sounds really interesting. Great review!

Falling Off The Shelf said...

Sounds like a really good book! I love the cover too, it looks so mysterious. Thanks for the great review Eleni, it's officially on my radar.

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

This looks like a good read...except for the bittersweet ending. I hate those. I'm a sap and love a happy ending with no bitter about it. Great review and I agree that the cover is great.

dentistry in Sydney said...

Sounds like a really good book! I love the cover too. Thanks for the great review Eleni, it's officially on my radar.

Sarbear said...

Oooh, this sounds so exciting!

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