BOOKS

The November Girl

323p. Entangled Teen. Nov. 2017. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781633758261.
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Gr 9 Up—Told in alternating points of view, this is the story of Hector and Anda, who both meet on Isle Royale in Lake Superior. Hector is 17 and running away by taking the last ferry to the island, knowing that it is closed to visitors over the winter season. He is shocked to find another teenager on there, one who appears to have been left by her father. Hector is not at all prepared for life on the island, and Anda seems very naive about life off Isle Royale. Their slowly blossoming romance is tinged with the knowledge that each is withholding secrets. This is a romantic thriller with an original premise. As the chapters alternate between characters, readers are given a glimpse of each teen's secret, but information is doled out slowly. This builds a solid level of tension that keeps the pages turning though the pacing sometimes becomes uneven. Hector's character is complex. He is biracial, caught between worlds, and seemingly abandoned by both parents to an uncle from whom Hector is running. Anda is fey, with a encyclopedic knowledge of geology, history and myth, but she appears to be completely impractical. The novel is quite dark in places, with strong language, drug use, and sexual abuse featured. The subject matter and the complexity of the plot make it more suitable for older readers who will be hooked by the writing style all the way to the neat and satisfying ending.
VERDICT Purchase where paranormal romance is still popular.

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