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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Jenny Reviews: The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis

The Storyteller
By Antonia Michaelis (Translated by Miriam Debbage)
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: January 2012 (First published in 2011)
Format: Hardback, 402 pages (purchased)

What the inside flap has to say:

A good girl.
A bad boy.
A fairy tale that's true.
A truth that is no fairy tale.  

It begins the day Anna finds the child's doll on the floor of the student lounge. When it's claimed by Abel, the school drug deal, Anna becomes determined to learn more about this mysterious boy with the military haircut and deep blue eyes. She follows him after school and discovers a secret: Abel is caring for his six-year-old sister, Micha, alone. Anna listens in as he tells her a fairy tale, the story of a little orphan queen pursued by hunters across the oceans for the treasure she carried: her pure, diamond heart.
   It's a story with parallels to reality. Social services and Micha's abusive father could take her from Abel if they discover the truth.
   Despite friends' warnings, Anna is drawn to Abel and Micha, and falls under the spell of the story of the little queen and her desperate voyage.
   But when people Abel has woven into his tale turn up dead, it's Anna whose heart is in danger. Is she in love with a killer? And has she set out on a journey from which there is no return? 
   Antonia Michaelis has written a spellbinding tale of suspense, danger, and transformative love.
I stumbled upon this book at my local book store while searching for a book I had been waiting on forever and somehow managed to walk away with not the book I was searching for, but this little gem instead. I was stunned at my choice, but really there was no choice. After seeing the cover and reading just the first four lines on the inside flap I knew I had to read this book. Who doesn't love a good fairy tale? Within twenty-four hours this book was devoured, hugged and placed gently on my shelf. This book, however, did not have the same courtesy to treat me with such care.
   The Storyteller simply put is a beautiful yet horrifying tale about a boy who will do anything to keep his sister safe and a girl who can't help but love him for it. I really had no idea what I was getting into. There were times where the scenes between Anna and Abel were just so sweet I got teary eyed and then there were others that just made my jaw drop to the floor. Talk about an emotional roller coaster.
   One thing I absolutely loved was the fairy tale of the little queen that Abel tells through out the book. You get sucked in right along side Anna as the little Queen journeys across the ocean to the land where she'll be safe. Outside of a few tender moments between Anna and Abel, the fairy tale is undoubtedly my favorite part.  
   This book is not for everyone. Like I said this story is beautiful, but it is horrifying at the same time.There is content which I do not recommend for young readers. And I'm not talking about PG-13 for violence, language and some nudity. I'm talking about scenes that you even though you Do Not want to read them again, you do at least once, maybe even twice again just to be sure they actually happened. Scenes so emotional that you feel you're in the room experiencing the devastation first hand.
  I really did love this book and I really do recommend it, but be warned <3. If it helps at all I've heard it is similar in substance to Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. Forbidden is still tucked away on my TBR shelf, but once it has been read I will be sure to post a follow up.

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