Saturday, July 18, 2009

Book Inspection: Meridian by Amber Kizer

Plot Sketch: It started when Meridian was born. Small creatures would find their way into her crib at night and die. As she got older, the animals got bigger. Every morning she would wake up with new dead things in her room. It started to happen not just at night too - kids at school started calling her mean names and staying away from her. Meridian just accepted that she killed everything that came near her. The only person who was seemingly unafraid of her was her little brother, Sammy. Then, on the morning of December 21, her parents hinted that they had something to tell her... something important. She went to school as usual, but on her way home, there was a car crash right in front of her house, a really bad one. It crippled Meridian immediately because even though she was walking, she felt the pain of the dying around her. Her father rushed to her and got her away from the scene and took her to Costco, where he took her through to the back and told her he would never see her again. He told her to go to see her great aunt in Colorado. All Meridian has is a few dollars and the things her mother had packed for her. She has no idea what she is. Once she finally arrives in Revelation, Colorado, she meets Tens, a young man who lives with and takes care of her great aunt, and who she is immediately attracted to. Read Meridian to find out their intertwined fate, and Meridian's path to becoming a full-fledged Fenestra, half-angel, half-human being who does not kill the beings she is around, but helps the dying get to the other side successfully without being intercepted by the Aternocti, who would take their souls to what we see as hell.

Verdict: I Heart It! I really loved the story line. I think Amber Kizer created an original story and original concepts. I thought that they related to modern religions very well, and has created what could become a new classic good vs. evil struggle, if there was a little tweaking. There were several passages in the book that felt awkward and just didn't flow right. I really did enjoy it, and when I was away from it, I thought about the story, which I mark as a sign that a book is good. I hope there is another book in the series!! ADDED LATER: As I continued to reflect upon Meridian in the days after I posted this review, I began to appreciate the novel even more. There was a great point made in the novel that any religious belief can be manipulated and twisted to fit the ideals of a religious fanatic. The Bible was used throughout by the "bad guys" to justify their actions and beliefs. Kizer annoted the verses and you can find a list of them at the back of the ARC. I really didn't think much of it at the time, but I came to appreciate it even more. This book has many layers and is a lot deeper than I originally thought.

The Gauntlet:

At what location does most of the story take place?
Revelation, Colorado

What is the main character's name?
Meridian Sozu

Does I Heart Monster like the main character?
I like Meridian. Though I can't really relate to her, I felt like she was a good character who grew as the story progressed. She's deep.

How long did it take I Heart Monster to finish the book?
A couple of days.

Did I Heart Monster get stuck at any points in the book? If so, why?
There were several parts that I had to re-read, but was still unable to ascertain what Kizer was trying to say. Later on I made sense of them, but they didn't flow, and I think if those little kinks were worked out, it would have been a better read for me.

Is this a good read for Monster?
Maybe, maybe not. I think that men will be able to enjoy this story. Tens is a very intensely male character with his outdoorsy skills, and his demeanor, and he is very likeable as well.

What, if anything, would I Heart Monster change to make the book more interesting?
Nothing.

What was I Heart Monster's favorite line?
I don't have one per se, but I loved the Fenestra journal entries that were at the beginning of some of the chapters. Before the chapter, in bold, would be a relevant entry to the predicament that Meridian was facing. The journal was one that her family had kept, Fenestra to Fenestra, and only Fenestras were allowed to read. I thought those passages gave a lot of depth to the book.

How many chapters were in the book?
35

Stats:

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: August 11, 2009
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385736681

Acquire It:

Hardcover

Notes:

  • Check out the Ambitious Edition post for Meridian
  • Check out Meridian's website, MeridianSozu.com
  • This is a review of an Advanced Readers Copy, so most of it, including the parts that I thought awkward, are subject to change before the book is printed.

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