Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Glass Sentence by S. E. Grove

The Glass Sentence plunges readers into a time and place they will not want to leave, and introduces them to a heroine and hero they will take to their hearts. It is a remarkable debut.
~Goodreads

Publisher: Viking Juvenile 
Number of Pages: 489 
Type: Hardcover 

Reviewed by Rachel, age 18
I hadn't heard much about The Glass Sentence prior to reading it, other than that our Penguin sales rep loved it. I don't typically read middle grade, but I do occasionally like to branch out so I have some personal recommendations for customers. 

To cut to the chase, this book wowed me. Sophia Tims lives in a world much like our own, but after the Great Disruption occurred. Now, land is divided up into different ages. Suddenly, past, present and future coexist as one. 

Sophia and her famous uncle live in Boston, New Occident cerca the late 1800's. Her uncle is a well-known cartologist and explorer of the known and unknown ages. Mapmaking takes on a whole new level in this world. Now, maps are made up of memories, not just plotted geographic locations. 

When New Occident plans to close its borders due to piracy, Sophia's uncle begins to teach his thirteen-year-old niece about maps so that they can make an escape before the borders close in order to begin searching for her lost parents. But then her uncle is kidnapped. 

Sophia has no idea what could have happened to him, or that he is the only living cartologer who can read and write water maps, but something strange is happening to the world. Something threatening and uncontrollable. And it just so happens that Sophia's uncle, before his capture, entrusted her with one of the most important maps in his collection that might just save the world.

The thing that makes this book so cool is that it's fantastical and familiar all at once. We know these places on our own globe, but they have changed. Imagine what would happen to a world if past, present and future mingled? Things would change, people would never be born, new people--new creatures--would be created. S.E. Grove thought and incorporated all of this into her novel. 

It's such an incredibly clever and original world that it's almost mind-boggling. The Vice President of Viking Juvenile dubbed it a "classic in the making." And I see what he means. This book is middle grade, yes, but it would appeal to all ages and both genders.

One thing I should mention is that this is definitely a book for the confident reader. It's not an easy or short read by any means, because there is so much going on with characters, time manipulation, new places and overlapping scenes. It's a carefully constructed novel with many, many layers and it's so richly worded that it reads like a movie. 

Trust me, you want to give this book a shot! And if you read it, let me know what you think! 

This book is on shelves now! 
Buy Hardcover | $17.99

Stay tuned for more on The Glass Sentence in the near future! 

Happy reading!
Rachel, age 18

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~Youth Board