Monday, December 09, 2013

Beholding Bee (2013)

Beholding Bee. Kimberly Newton Fusco. 2013. Random House. 336 pages. [Source: Review Copy]

I loved so many things about Beholding Bee. Beholding Bee has just a touch of fantasy to it, but, otherwise it has a very historical feel to it. The book is set during the early days of World War II. The heroine, Bee, is, in my opinion, quite unforgettable. She's eleven or so. She's an orphan. Her upbringing has been unusual to say the least. She travels with a carnival. She helps with the food stand: hotdogs, popcorn, honey buns, lemonade, etc. She has a close bond with Pauline, a woman with the carnival who has basically raised her since she was four. Bee has a birthmark. She does not necessarily like people staring at her, pointing at her, laughing at her, making rude comments. The owner of the carnival treats her like she's an attraction to the show itself, a freak on display. So, whenever possible, Bee tries to keep her birthmark covered with either her hair or her hand. She also likes to try to face a certain way so her birthmark isn't quite so obvious to strangers. But when Pauline falls in love (a bit too quickly), things change for Bee very quickly. Changes are coming quickly for many people. Men everywhere are joining up in the forces, and men who aren't army material, well, they still feel like they should be doing something more. Bobby, Bee's other best friend, has been rejected by the army, but, he's determined to get a factory job so he too can serve his country. One day life in the carnival becomes too much for her. Bee takes the dog (her forbidden pet) and runs away...what happens next is a bit fantastical. But it is wonderful too.

I loved every twist in this story. I loved seeing Bee live in that quaint house with her two aunts. I loved seeing Bee struggle to join the community and attend school. I loved meeting Bee's classmates. That 'educational' aspect of the novel was quite something! So many things we take for granted now, but, fairness has to be fought for sometimes.

I would definitely recommend Beholding Bee!
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 comments:

Kailana 1:03 PM  

Oh, sounds good! I will add it to my wish list. :)

Cathy Brown 3:04 PM  

This sounds great!! I love books about the civillians in WW2. Definitely added to my TBR list :D

Cathy x
https://www.facebook.com/yearinreview/cathybrown1991

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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