Thursday, August 4, 2016

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Published: May 19th, 2015
Publisher: Del Rey
Page Count: 438 pgs (Hardcover)
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find the Author: Website

"Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood. The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her. But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose." - Nabbed from the Goodreads Blurb




When I realized that I hadn't written up a actual, formal review of Uprooted...I immediately pulled up a tab. If I'm not going to blog about books that I find myself fan-girling out on - why do I consider myself a blogger at all? It's kind of daunting to write about a book that you've completely fallen in love with. Mostly because you're afraid you'll forget something and then someone won't read it and then...IT WILL BE ALL YOUR FAULT THEY MISSED OUT. So I'm just going to begin with this disclaimer/announcement...

Five out of five stars.
Highly recommended.
Please, for your book-loving heart's sake - you have to pick this one up!!!

Ok. Back to the regular programming, people.

Uprooted is eloquently written expressions and communicated in a relatable, earthy tone. The story is shared but not told. Agnieszka's voice as written by Novik is realistic and personable. It can be hard, sometimes, to keep the story well-rounded and consistent when you’re solely in the first person. Novik doesn’t fall into this potential trap.

Agnieszka is a developed, warm, and clever friend of a main character. She is far braver than she makes herself out to be. But, thankfully, we aren't deprived of observing her bravery because we're hearing the events from her POV. Nor are we subjected to awkward, stilted down-talk at every corner. She is the kind of humble that doesn’t see what’s so special about herself but does not let that confine her or keep her from being brave and doing what she can for those in her life. Agnieszka is plain-ish, disorganized, stubborn, and awkward. From the start to the finish of the story you hear from her own voice the unintentionally communicated story of a young woman transforming into a powerful, talented, and incredibly brave individual she was meant to be all along.

Kasia - Agnieszka’s best friend - is the one that was expected to be taken by the Dragon. Agnieszka was never thought to even be a real contender. Not just because there was Kasia in the group of ‘Dragonborn Girls’. But...because Agnieszka was all together not exactly put together. Not the kind of girl one would expect to be ensconced by a dragon to his lair. In fact, no one expects it - not even the Dragon himself. This is what happens when you judge a book by her messy and mildly awkward cover.

One of the most refreshing aspects of Uprooted is the focus on the value and strength of the female friendship. Agnieszka and her best friend Kasia go above and beyond and then some for each other. Life and limb and sanity. It's, in my opinion, the best aspect of Uprooted. Their love is a huge motive for Agnieszka. It fuels and propels her to take risks, to become a hero, to make herself stronger. Usually in books such changes and risks are tied to a romantic interest. It's completely and entirely refreshing that a true friendship provides the motive for Agnieszka to take risks and begin to believe in her own power. Agnieszka and Kasia have the kind of friendship that makes you better just because that person has been in your life. It’s rare but not uncommon but too-forgotten in the world of fiction. (At least in my opinion). They don’t ever stop loving each other. They always have each other’s back. Serious #FriendshipGoals.

I could go on and on and on about Uprooted. I really, really, REALLY could. I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve mentioned it to people, on meme’s, etc. When my best friend asked me to create a TBR list for her - Uprooted was one of the first titles I thought of. Is it for everyone? Probably not. Not everything is for everyone. If you like fantasy. If you love original fairy tales with a refreshing twist. If you love cheering on girl power and books that give you serious #friendshipgoals. If you want a book that makes you want to call quits on your job and move to a village in a magical land where your main hobby is foraging for berries in an enchanted forest in the shadow of a Dragon's tower...

Uprooted is for you.

Five out of five stars.

Happy reading!

Jess

P.S. I can't be the only that imagined (or will) Loki as portrayed by Tom Hiddleston as The Dragon dude? Right?

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