Thursday, January 24, 2013

Book Review: Salvation by Anne Osterlund

by Anne Osterlund
Young Adult Realistic Contemporary
Release Date: January 10, 2013
Published by: Penguin Young Readers Group
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.98
Pages: 288

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis available on Goodreads:

Salvador Resendez--Salva to his friends--appears to have it all. His Mexican immigrant family has high expectations, and Salva intends to fulfill them. He's student body president, quarterback of the football team, and has a near-perfect GPA. Everyone loves him.

Especially Beth Courant, AKA the walking disaster area. Dreamy and shy, Beth is used to blending into the background. But she's also smart, and she has serious plans for her future.

Popular guy and bookish girl--the two have almost nothing in common. Until fate throws them together and the attraction is irresistible. Soon Beth is pushing Salva to set his sights higher than ever--because she knows he has more to offer, more than even he realizes.

Then tragedy strikes--and threatens to destroy everything that Salva has worked for. Will Beth's love be enough to save him?

Thoughtful and romantic, this is a beautifully written story about following your heart and fulfilling your potential.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Overview of Novel: Beth is known as the walking disaster. She has a knack for running into people, for not fitting in, and just for blending in the background. Salva is the opposite. He's popular, football captain and student body president. Basically, he's everything Beth isn't.

But Beth has had a crush on him for years. He's never noticed her. And then when they are in AP English, her paper gets read out loud and Salva gets a D. Suddenly Slava is noticing her. He convinces her to tutor him. But Beth is worried she's set herself up for failure. She's not even sure Slava will notice her as more than a friend, and then when tragedy strikes, it's up to her to save him. But what makes her think that she's enough to save him?

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Let me start out by saying, I love Anne Osterlund. I've read every single one of her books and every single one of her blog posts. 

Basically, I think this author's writing is exceptional. This book was no exception. It wasn't like I expected it would be. In fact, it was very different than I expected, but I still loved it.

Beth and Salva were interesting characters. Even though, I'm not very similar to either one of them, I still loved learning more about their characters. This book dealt with issues of race and racial prejudice, dealing with crappy family situations, and finding your own dreams and reaching for those. 

All of those themes made this book a memorable read for me. I love when books have a deeper underlying message and this book fits that bill.

Anne Osterlund's writing was beautifully crafted, but really that isn't surprising. I've already said I love her writing.

I guess I just loved this story because the characters seemed so realistic, the plot was entertaining, and it had a deeper underlining message. Basically, it had everything I like in a good book. 

So why 4 stars? This one was tough to rate. I loved it. I loved the characters, the plot, and the writing. However, I felt like Anne Osterlund developed such a great world with such conflicts and real problems and then the ending just felt slightly rushed. I would have liked to have seen it more drawn out. 

There was just so much build-up and then it kind of ended. Don't get me wrong, I loved the book and the ending was great. It just needed to be better to earn a 5. 

In Summary: Anne Osterlund's book is incredibly written. Fans of Simon Elkeles, Sara Zarr, and retellings of Romeo and Juliet will adore this book. Osterlund is a master at characterization and that shines through. 

The Wrap-up: I loved this book. It was beautifully written and Anne is one of my favorite authors. If you love realistic contemporary novels, then I recommend this one for you. 

Love, Danica Page

Up Next: A Hope Undaunted (Winds of Change, #1) by Julie Lessman

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