April 22, 2014

Bookworm Chronicles: Vol. 3

Bookworm Chronicles: Vol. 3
"I saw the bottle dematerializing with a faint hiss and a puff of smoke. I saw myself vibrate and glow before all my particles scattered like pollen in the air." -Andrea van den Berg, The Isle of Youth

The Isle of Youth is a collection of short stories by Andrea van den Berg. Each story features a female protagonist- each a bit more lost and hopeless than the last. The stories are written in a detached manner and the characters seem to remain a mystery (to themselves and to the reader.) That being said, I still found myself loving and caring for all of the characters. I didn't even relate to any of them, which is usually an issue for me, but somehow I still thought about them long after I finished each story. I think that's a testament to van den Berg's writing, which is magical. The stories aren't connected, but it's still very cohesive and it feels as though they're connected.

These stories didn't have happy endings, which I think is part of the reason why I thought about the characters so often after I finished. I wanted to know what happened to all of them; where their lives eventually took them. van den Berg created sad and bleak situations, and then turned them into something beautiful, and I definitely fell under her spell. I especially enjoyed "The Isle of Youth" and "The Greatest Escape," which were the last two stories in the book.

Does anyone else have book recommendations? I'm always on the hunt! xx Courtney

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