8 Sept 2018

We Can(ada) Read: Hannah @ The Book Thief Without Words - #Review: A POSSIBILITY OF WHALES by Karen Rivers // #Giveaway

We Can(ada) Read is by Canadians for EVERYONE to learn more about some amazing Canadian authors! It is a highlight of Canadian Literature and those of us who promote it as much as possible.

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Hannah is an 18 year old aspiring author who grew up in the country with stories as her sole companions. She is a lover of all things fictional and one day hopes to have a book on the same shelves that she has spent hours perusing.

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Author: Karen Rivers
Series: N/A
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: March 13, 2018
Rating: 4/5 stars

The story of a girl who—thanks to her friends, her famous single dad, and an unexpected encounter with a whale—learns the true meaning of family.

Twelve-year-old Natalia Rose Baleine Gallagher loves possibilities: the possibility that she’ll see whales on the beach near her new home, the possibility that the trans­gender boy she just met will become her new best friend, the possibility that the paparazzi hounding her celebrity father won’t force them to move again. Most of all, Nat dreams of the possibility that her faraway mother misses her, loves her, and is just waiting for Nat to find her.

But how can Nat find her mother if she doesn’t even know who she is? She abandoned Nat as a baby, and Nat’s dad refuses to talk about it. Nat knows she shouldn’t need a mom, but she still feels like something is missing, and her questions lead her on a journey of self-discovery that will change her life forever.
There's something magical about middle grade books that just can't be found in any other book.  Maybe because it reminds me of simpler times or maybe it's just because there's something incredibly unique about a book told from  a child's perspective but whatever the reason is, I love Middle grade books. Especially middle grade contemporary. Though I don't frequently seek them out, whenever I do  it's like coming home.

While I thoroughly enjoyed The Possibility of Whales now, I probably wouldn't have if I had read it as a child. All of the awkwardness of puberty weren't things that I liked to read about it and as Natalia is about to turn 13, these are things that she's having to start to deal with.  With those years long behind me, I just cringed slightly at those moments while being able to appreciate all the other glorious aspects. From family to friendship, this book is packed full with heartfelt moments.

 One trope that I always appreciate in books is that of the famous parent.  I think fame is such a fascinating concept and I love seeing how that affects the protagonist and their view of the world. Natalia's dad is a famous actor and his fame has forced them to move multiple times due to all the paparazzi that continuously follow them. It was  really interesting to see how this shaped Natalia's personality.  I think that it's really sad that the majority of us don't see famous people as people who have feelings and emotions. Just because they're in the public eye doesn't mean they don't deserve respect. I really liked how Karen Rivers explored this plot point. The struggle of Natalia trying to live a normal life while having a famous dad was very real and I truly felt for her.

Another great thing about this book was the fact  that there is a trans side character! I cannot speak for the rep but from what I could tell, it seemed to be pretty good representation. I loved how casually it was inserted into the story and how it was never made out to to be a big deal. We need more middle grade with trans rep (I mean we need more books in general with trans rep but that's a whole other matter) and I think that A Possibility of Whales  is an important book for putting forth such a character. I absolutely loved reading about Harry and how his friendship with Natalia developed.

The last thing that I really liked was the setting!  I love when books are set in Canada. The Possibility of Whales is set in Sooke, BC and the character lives right on French Beach which is pretty cool because I'm pretty sure that I've been there before. As the name suggests, whales play an important part in the book and Natalia encounters them twice throughout the novel. I thought that the whales were a great piece of symbolism and I really liked the scenes where she saw them because the descriptions were really beautiful. Whales are such fascinating animals and Karen Rivers was able to incorporate that beauty extremely well.
Karen Rivers is too thrown by the "Date of Death" drop down that has appeared below her name in the editing section of this page to actually write anything about her life. When she recovers, this box will be filled with imperative biographical information and may include SECRETS and probably also a few LIES. Now she is going to sit back and anxiously track that "Date of Death" box in case a date suddenly appears, foretelling her imminent doom.

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This giveaway is sponsored by Moonbeam Books, an independent bookstore in Toronto, Ontario! 

1 comment:

  1. I've really been loving middle grade fiction too! It allows for a lot more imaginative stories


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