I’ve been gone for a while. But I was reading. A lot.
Is anyone else thoroughly loving winter break? (I know I am!) Let’s see, I’ve read… five books in the last three days. It’s been a good past couple of days. 😀 The good news is that I have a few book reviews for you!
A Time to Die (By Nadine Brandes)
How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?
Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system.
But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her clock is running out.
(Blurb from amazon)
Parvin Blackwater: She’s actually a relatable character. I sometimes struggle with connecting with characters (I actually relate to the villain more, whoops.) but Parvin is a determined (if not impulsive) teenager who wants to do something with her one year of life.
Reid Blackwater: Parvin’s twin brother. Unlike Parvin, he finished school, traveled, and did things with his life. He’s a strong believer in God, and influences Parvin’s faith since parents aren’t allowed to teach religion to kids under 18.
Jude: An interesting guy, but I was a little put off by him at first. He has good development and Nadine does a great job with revealing his story in bits and pieces. He has some anger issues, but his heart is right.
Enforcer Hawke: A Enforcer who wants to do the right thing. He helps Parvin the best he can through messages after she is cast beyond the wall.
Willow: A little albino girl who is just plain endearing. She is sweet, caring, and funny in parts.
Skelley Chase: Parvin’s hero in the beginning of the book because he can write enthralling biographies about dull people. She longs to meet him in person.
Parvin decides to write a biography that spells out her and her twin brother’s secret. She wants to help the Radicals, people who destroyed or lost their clocks. Of course, the secret that she’s kept is revealed, and she’s sent past the wall as punishment for not having a clock. A man promises to get her out again, but she has to survive whatever dangers dwell behind the wall first.
What I liked: The characters were complex. I get picky about this one, but I liked all of the characters (or rather, their portrayal.) The technology was amazing. Clever inventions and cool suits populate the book, adding just another cool level.
Is the book Christian? Yep. But it isn’t overly preachy, which is something that I love. It’s more about Parvin’s spiritual growth than presenting a gospel message.
What I didn’t like: The book, while never getting gory, is violent in parts. Skeletons are mentioned several times, someone fights with a human bone, a character’s hand is amputated, someone is knocked unconscious, wolves eat someone, etc. There is a slight bit of a love triangle, something I really don’t care for in writing. I don’t like romance in general, but this book isn’t overly romantic. We don’t really know how the clocks work, and I like knowing how things work, so that was disappointing.
The book has a sad ending, (so if you’re a crier, get out tissues…) but it’s a trilogy, and the second book is happier. (My suggestion is that you buy all three at once.)
WRITING: 5/5 STARS
CHARACTERS: 5/5 STARS
THEMATIC STUFF (1 NONE, 5 HIGH): 2.5
LEVEL OF VIOLENCE (1 BEING NONE, 5 BEING HIGH): 4
LANGUAGE: (1 BEING NONE, 5 BEING HIGH): 1
Verdict: Four Stars 🙂