Saturday, 28 March 2015

Book Review - Artichoke Hearts

Title: Artichoke Hearts
Author: Sita Brahmachari
Series: Mira Levenson (Book 1)
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Release Date: 7 Jan. 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0330517911

Twelve-year-old Mira comes from a chaotic, artistic and outspoken family where it’s not always easy to be heard. As her beloved Nana Josie's health declines, Mira begins to discover the secrets of those around her, and also starts to keep some of her own. She is drawn to mysterious JidĂ©, a boy who is clearly hiding a troubled past and has grown hardened layers - like those of an artichoke - around his heart. As Mira is experiencing grief for the first time, she is also discovering the wondrous and often mystical world around her.

My Review
This isn't my usual sort of read, I do like the odd bit of contemporary fiction but wasn't too sure about this. I actually listened to it on audio book and really only picked it up because it was the only thing on the shelf at the time that wasn't Thomas the Tank or Fairies. I always have a book to listen to in the car and I needed a new one so this one ended up being picked and I have to say I was actually pleasantly surprised. I found myself enjoying the story and getting more engrossed the further through I went. 
Mira is 12, just at that awkward stage in life where things start to change and people start to look at you differently, she feels more mature but still unsure of the world around her. She's quite quiet but comes from an outspoken family and sometimes finds it hard to be heard, but she gets on very well with her grandma Josie, they almost seem to share their own little bubble in the world, so when Josie's health starts to decline Mira isn't sure what to do with herself.
The story follows Mira as she turns 12, has her first crush on a boy named Jide, deals with the decline and ultimate death of her Gran and just generally battles through the tribulations of growing up. There are moments of real sadness and you can feel Mira's emotion coming through but there are also moments of joy and laughter. 
Mira is a really sweet character and you can't help but really like her. She has a great way of looking at the world and describing what she sees and how it affects both her and those around her.
The narration on the spoken word was very good and captured Mira's quirks, I think listening to it actually bought the characters to life more and I can't say for sure of course but I think I enjoyed it more because I had that voice to relate to.
I would recommend it as a really good read for both children and adults alike. 

My Rating

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