Monday, April 25, 2016

Book Review: Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier (#RocTBF2016)

Count this as another book I never would have read if it wasn't for the Rochester Teen Book Festival. I assume you know about my challenge to myself (to have read at least one book by each author who attends by at that date).

I actually already owned this book because it came in a Book Riot YA box last year. So, while I intended to read it, it was not likely I would have ever gotten to it. I checked out a different book of Ms. Larbalestier's from the library before I realized I already had this one and asked Twitter which I should read. Ms. Larbalestier let me know that she had the most fun writing this one... there really isn't a better recommendation than that! I'm glad I asked.

The setting: Razorhurst, 1932. The fragile peace between two competing mob bosses—Gloriana Nelson and Mr Davidson—is crumbling. Loyalties are shifting. Betrayals threaten.

Kelpie knows the dangers of the Sydney streets. Ghosts have kept her alive, steering her to food and safety, but they are also her torment.

Dymphna is Gloriana Nelson’s ‘best girl’, experienced in surviving the criminal world, but she doesn’t know what this day has in store for her.

When Dymphna meets Kelpie over the corpse of Jimmy Palmer, Dymphna’s latest boyfriend, she pronounces herself Kelpie’s new protector. But Dymphna’s life is in danger too, and she needs an ally. And while Jimmy’s ghost wants to help, the dead cannot protect the living . . .

Here's what I have to say about it: 
This book is really about a few people. Kelpie is a young girl who has lived on the streets longer than most children make it. She's been able to survive longer than other little orphans because, she's been taken care of by the ghosts that haunt the streets of Razorhurst. She worries that they will drive her crazy one day.

Dymphna is the the classiest and the highest earning of the "girls" who work for Glory. She's got more than one secret, not the least of which is that she is starting to believe that she is the Angel of Death, like everyone says. Dating her is a status symbol in Razorhurst, but also might be the mark of death.

And then there's the men: the bold, the smitten, and the dead.

The story and its telling were refreshing and original. From each of the characters points of view the world of Razorhurst became more vibrant. It's a harsh world but the relationships that were being developed throughout the book were rich and worth the heart ache.

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