Since Shanti and I have break this week, so hopefully I will be able to schedule some posts because duh, you haven’t had enough Shar in your lives recently (No really, I can be a neglectful blogger). I also have been able to read quite a bit so I’ll also have things to think about.
Title: Green Valentine
Author: Lili Wilkinson (did you notice I finally learned how to spell author? I used to think that real people said Authour until someone told me I was wrong. Thanks, Shanti)
Genre: YA contemporary
Themes: Friendship, environment, superheroes, mass consumerism and it’s potential to take over the world as we know it
My Blurb: Astrid wants to save the world. Not hard, right? Think again. It’s pretty hard when she lives in Valentine, and ugly concrete jungle filled with people jaded to the environment. One day, while dressed as a lobster trying to make people sign a petition, she meets an amazing boy, who is thoughtful and interesting and, a first, actually seems to care. But when she see’s him at school, he’s an entirely different person. Are they meant to be? Can she actually grow a garden? How can she wake people up to Valentine?
I came into Green Valentine with a variety of different expectations. I’d read a review or two (like Ella’s, although I can’t remember what she actually thought). I’ve also really like Lili Wilkinson’s other books, especially Love Shy. I can’t quite think exactly what I feel about this book, so I’ll break it down.
The Characters: I loved the characters. Firstly, Astrid isn’t your normal lonely, misunderstood MC. She’s popular and confident. Her voice was impeccable.Her home situation and friends all built her into a generally round character. Hiro is also nice. I liked how he was mixed race (like me!!), and not just there for diversity. I think their relationship was well fleshed out, and I appreciated how likeable he was while being so different to Astrid. The other two really main characters were Paige and Dev. I loved their friendship with Astrid, and how they worked. Paige was maybe a little less round, but I liked Dev. While slightly fitting into the ‘gay best friend’ genre, I loved his skill at musicality and ‘medium sized romantic gesture’. Other secondary characters, like Hiro’s grandma, his sister, Michi, Storm, and the teachers made a great character web that was a good base for everything else.
The Setting: I liked Valentine as a setting, and it was reasonably developed. I can’t think of much more to say about it.
The plot: It was a touch predictable, but I enjoyed it. I liked the climax, all the conflicts made sense, and there was a good variety- conflicts in relationships, values, between Astrid and the local council, hippies vs greenies, and plenty of others. What ended up as the main conflict was slow to start, but in general I think the exposition and rising action all culminated nicely.
The writing: It was just excellent. My classmates could tell you I was laughing out loud plenty, and the dialogue was perfect. Each character had a strong voice, and it fit just right with the topic.
Altogether, this was a thoroughly enjoyable and rather wonderful book. It was fun and interesting and really confronted an issue the we should all think about more. It wasn’t necessarily deep, but I think it was an easy and good read that I liked a lot.
So, since I already overviewed all the topics:
Have you read this book? (or anything else by lili wilkinson because you should). How do you feel about contemporaries? Do you have an opinion on how to save the environment?