Book Review: A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier

a death struck year

A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Genre: Historical Fiction and Young Adult

Release Date: March 4, 2014

Pages: 288 (Hardcover)

good good

For Cleo Berry, the people dying of the Spanish Influenza in cities like New York and Philadelphia may as well be in another country–that’s how far away they feel from the safety of Portland, Oregon. And then cases start being reported in the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode–and into a panic. Headstrong and foolish, seventeen-year-old Cleo is determined to ride out the pandemic in the comfort of her own home, rather than in her quarantined boarding school dorms. But when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she can’t ignore the call. As Cleo struggles to navigate the world around her, she is surprised by how much she finds herself caring about near-strangers. Strangers like Edmund, a handsome medical student and war vet. Strangers who could be gone tomorrow. And as the bodies begin to pile up, Cleo can’t help but wonder: when will her own luck run out?

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, HMH Books for Young Readers for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

I’m conflicted about how I want to review this because of the historical aspect. Most people know about the Spanish Influenza and I think that the author relied heavily on this because there isn’t very much talk about it nor about Cleo’s background. However, it’s a fairly strong novel and I can’t wait to see what Lucier comes out with next.

A Death-Struck Year starts out actually quite boring. I felt myself quickly lose interest and shaking my head saying, “this is why I don’t read historical fiction!” Until well into the novel when things quickly started to pick up. Cleo and Jack are siblings and of course they care for each other but I would have liked some more of a background story to their relationship, they felt more like good friends than family to me.

Cleo Berry is one hell of a character. She’s strong and committed, doing things that many people would never even think about doing. I loved the relationship between Cleo and Edmund because of how well done it is despite the times where is felt contrived, it’s realistic and doesn’t take over the story. In fact, all of the characters are realistic and were fun to read about their different lives and how they all came together to help those in need. Another thing that I enjoyed was the writing, it’s fairly smooth and Lucier effortlessly added the right amounts of emotion to her work to make things shift in her favour.

Overall, I was shocked by how well written this novel is and how much it exceeded my expectations. As a person who never reads anything historical fiction outside of school, I think that this novel has open my eyes to see that some historical fictions are quite well done and realistic. I recommend this to anyone who knows about the Spanish flu and love historical fiction novels that are realistic and don’t have a lot of romance to it.

3 Clouds
3 Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.

Favourite Book Quotes of the Week#50

favourite

A list of my favourite quotes from books I’ve read in the past week. Leave a comment/link telling me what your favourite quotes are! I’ll be sure to check your post out too!

The Queen’s Choice by Cayla Kluver

18168636Favourite Quotes:

1. Keep silent your screams and never look back.

2. A long time ago, before I’d lost my wings, I’d thought that bravery could be attained with an open mind and heart, by persuing and facing my demons. Now I considered that fearlessness was the luxury of the cloistered and blind, and that it was too late for me.

Before My Eyes by Caroline Bock

17934644Favourite quotes:

1. How do you tell someone like Pete that these kinds of friendships don’t last, that they weren’t made to last more than the summer even in the best of circumstances, and these certainly haven’t been the best. That some friends aren’t meant to be, except in stories, or books. You miss a penalty shot and no one wants to talk to you, and maybe you don’t want to talk to them either. You want your own oblivion, and they don’t understand. You don’t answer their texts or even answer the messages of the one or two who venture to call. None of this has much to do with Peter, but you know you won’t be friends with him past tomorrow.

2. “All that we see or seem to see  is but a dream within a dream.”

3. “Because I could not stop for Death–He kindly stopped for me.”

Me Since You by Laura Wiess

12989100Favourite quotes:

1. But when I looked for good, eveil came; And when I looked for light, darkness came. My lyre is turned to mourning, and my pipe to the voice of those who weep. (Job)

2. “When someone threatens suicide, when they tell somebody they’re going to do it beforehand they’re reaching out, hoping someone will stop them. The problem is that people who aren’t depressed don’t always understand that and have a hard time believing it. To them, the idea of killing yourself to end pain is inconceivable. They think it’s nothing but drama or a bid for attention and if they ignore it or reason with them, they’ll come to their senses and life will go back to normal. […] Most times it doesn’t happen that way. The ones who don’t tell anyone beforehand…They’ve already made their decision and planned it all out to make sure they succeed. We find them after the fact, when it’s too late.”

3. “We grow up believing that bad things don’t happen to good people…but sometimes they do. It’s a hard truth to accept, that life is not fair.”

4. “Isn’t it funny; add a person to the family and smoking stops. Lose one, and it starts right back up again.”

Ask Again Later by  Liz Czukas

16090645Favourite quote: “If everybody jumped off a cliff, would you?”

:If there were a kick-ass party at the bottom of the cliff, I absolutely would.”

“God, you suck.”

A Death Struck Year by Makiia Lucier

a death struck yearFavourite quotes:

1. “You wonder why I stay,” I said. “Sometimes I wonder too. But I hate to think of a child, of anyone really, lying somewhere sick and scared, waiting for help that does not come.”

2. “I’m not afraid of these ghosts, Cleo. I have enough of my own to keep me company.”

3. ” I know what it’s like to lose a friend and wonder why you’re the one left behind. To think that nothing makes sense. Not one thing.”

4. I turned my head. “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool,” I said, “than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”

Let the Storms Break (Let the Sky Fall#2) by Shannon Messenger

18051183Favourite quotes:

1. “There’s much more power in pain.”

2. “Breaking the winds breaks you. The power becomes a craving, like…part of you dies and the only way to fill the emptiness is to spoil everything around you. And you can’t fight it because you can’t fight it because you don’t want to fight it, because then you’d never be able to experience the rush again.

3. “Sometimes pain is necessary to fix a problem that cannot otherwise be corrected. It’s unpleasant and unfortunate, but then it’s over and everything is set right.”

4. “But will you be able to live with yourself if something happens to anyone you love?”