Title: Nora & Kettle
(Paper Stars #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction & YA
Published: February 29th 2016
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon Freebie)
Seventeen-year-old Kettle has had his share of adversity. As an orphaned Japanese American struggling to make a life in the aftermath of an event in history not often referred to — the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the removal of children from orphanages for having "one drop of Japanese blood in them" — things are finally looking up. He has his hideout in an abandoned subway tunnel, a job, and his gang of Lost Boys.
Desperate to run away, the world outside her oppressive brownstone calls to naive, eighteen-year-old Nora — the privileged daughter of a controlling and violent civil rights lawyer who is building a compensation case for the interned Japanese Americans. But she is trapped, enduring abuse to protect her younger sister Frankie and wishing on the stars every night for things to change.
For months, they've lived side by side, their paths crossing yet never meeting. But when Nora is nearly killed and her sister taken away, their worlds collide as Kettle, grief stricken at the loss of a friend, angrily pulls Nora from her window.
In her honeyed eyes, Kettle sees sadness and suffering. In his, Nora sees the chance to take to the window and fly away.
This is a random find on Amazon. You know how I like my freebies ;)
The story follows Nora who may have a "privileged" life but she has to deal with a controlling and abusive father. She only stays for her sister. On the other side is Kettle who is an orphaned Japanese American boy who is struggling to make a life for him and his gang of Lost Boys. Things happen and Kettle takes Nora away to join his world.
This was pretty much a Peter Pan retelling in the real world. I felt so bad for both of them but for different reasons. I felt so bad for Kettle and his friends. They are all orphans and living on the streets trying to survive. And then there is Nora who is beaten to a pulp by a man who is supposed to love her. So sad all around.
The author really tried to make this sad and I feel bad that I didn't cry. I expected to and wanted to. I didn't connect with the characters as much as I wanted to. Not 100% sure why, but I just had a hard time. They felt a little 2D at points. They were not overly complex. They were pretty predictable.
I seen the ending a mile away. I figured it would happen and leave on a pretty big cliffhanger. Sighs. Not really amused. I am curious to see how everything is fixed...but only if book 2 is free or at the library. We shall see.
Honestly, the best part of the book was the writing style. I really enjoyed it. I should check out other books by the author. I wonder if the author writes poetry? It is lovely and lyrical.
All-in-all, I did like this. My biggest issue was the characters. They fell a little flat for me. Maybe they will be better in book 2? We shall see if book 2 passes my path because it did leave on a huge cliffhanger and I am curious to see what happens next. I think I shall stamp this with 2 stars.