Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Seven Stories Up (2014)

Seven Stories Up. Laurel Snyder. 2014. Random House. 240 pages. [Source: Review copy]

You're supposed to cry when your grandma is dying. You're supposed to be really sad. But as Mom and I sped through the dark streets of Baltimore, I couldn't stop bouncing in my seat.  

I absolutely loved this historical fantasy novel. I loved, loved, loved it!!! Annie Jaffin, the heroine, has never met her grandmother. Her mother almost always changes the subject. Annie knows that her mother doesn't exactly get along well with her mother. But she doesn't know why exactly, she doesn't have the details. And some would probably say that she doesn't need to know the details, that she doesn't need the burden and baggage of all the family troubles. But it still makes for an awkward first meeting. To meet someone who will die within a day or two at most. To have your only impression of your grandmother be her at her physical worst. Annie's grandmother seems desperate with Annie, wanting to express a decade's worth of love all in three minutes. But Annie finds it a bit overwhelming as well.

Seven Stories Up is historical fantasy. Annie wakes up to find herself in 1937, she meets a young girl around her own age: Molly. A girl she realizes relatively quickly is her grandmother. Annie and Molly--what a pair, what a fantastic pair of friends. Molly, who has asthma, has always been kept separate from the world; she's rarely let out of her rooms; she rarely meets anyone; she definitely never gets the opportunity to act her age, to play, to go to a fair or carnival, to go shopping, to go anywhere. The whole world almost has been off limits, and her family rarely takes the time to connect with her. Her father, well, for better or worse, is absent though he's only a few stories down. He's the owner/manager of the hotel. Her mother and her sisters are vacationing this summer. Molly, before Annie's arrival, was friendless and hateful.

I absolutely loved this one. I loved how Annie and Molly are good for one another. I loved how their relationship develops. And I love, love, love the time travel aspect of it.

Will knowing Annie in the past, change Molly's life forever?!

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Kailana 11:58 AM  

Sounds good!

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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
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  • 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.

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