NORA AND KETTLE
Written by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Published by Clean Teen Publishing, March 15, 2016
My star rating: 3.5 stars
Totally a cover buy….. and do you blame me? Seriously, just look at it!!
Nora is the privileged daughter of a civil rights lawyer. She lives in a nice brownstone with her sister, mother and father, but life isn’t exactly as it seems. When tragedy strikes she fears for her life and her sister. Kettle is a Japanese American who escape an orphanage at a young age. He was treated horribly just because of his Japanese blood. Him and the other Japanese outcasts (the lost boys) survived in an abandoned subway station, fighting for dangerous work for a small pay. Nora and Kettle’s paths have crossed many times without realizing it or meeting each other. It isn’t until Nora is almost killed, her sister is taken away, and she dreams of flying away that she’s ripped from her window.
Before I get into my review I feel the need to mention some trigger warnings. This book contained SO MUCH ABUSE. It was absolutely heart wrenching the amount of abuse in this book. The father is an awful wretched person who abuses his family and it does get very detailed and descriptive. So if abuse is upsetting to you, don’t even think about picking this book up. It continues from beginning to end.
This book is described as being a Peter Pan retelling. Yes, elements of the story are like Peter Pan in the way that there were lost boys and Nora was taken from her window, but I would consider it a very loose retelling. And there was also no magic.
I liked this book very much but I also had a bunch of problems with it. The characters were well done, especially Kettle and the jerk of a father. But I did have a hard time connecting with Nora but it was kind of understandable. Her spirit wasn’t allowed to come out because her father kept her down at all times. She spent literally all her time and emotions protecting herself and her sister. The perspective switched between both Nora and Kettle so you were able to see what brought them to this point and their lives coming together. Even thought I didn’t connect with Nora as much as I wanted to, I still thought that her growth and development as a character was the most interesting.
This book was very descriptive in a non info dump way, but it seemed like the story took forever to go anywhere though. I would say about two thirds of the book was dedicated to plot development and very little movement. Thankfully the writing flowed evenly and you were never really bored, but I kept wondering when something was actually going to happen.
I like this, but the problems I had with the speed of the story and my inability to relate to the characters as much as I wanted to pushed the rating of this one down to a 3.5 star rating. I will continue with the story when book two comes out though, just to see things pick up.