Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: February 22nd 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
After a classmate commits suicide, Kana Goldberg—a half-Japanese, half-Jewish American—wonders who is responsible. She and her cliquey friends said some thoughtless things to the girl. Hoping that Kana will reflect on her behavior, her parents pack her off to her mother’s ancestral home in Japan for the summer. There Kana spends hours under the hot sun tending to her family’s mikan orange groves.
Kana’s mixed heritage makes it hard to fit in at first, especially under the critical eye of her traditional grandmother, who has never accepted Kana’s father. But as the summer unfolds, Kana gets to know her relatives, Japan, and village culture, and she begins to process the pain and guilt she feels about the tragedy back home. Then news about a friend sends her world spinning out of orbit all over again. – Goodreads
My Opinion: This is one of the best poetic verse novels I have read in a very long time. I love the way the book is written and the message that it sends out I think is a great one. It talks about suicide and how it affects everyone that was connected to the person committing suicide. I really liked the characters as well.
Kana has just experienced a traumatic event and blames herself and her friends for that experience. There are many things that happen. Her parents send her to Japan to live with her grandmother for the summer. There she experiences a closer connection to family and learns more about herself and what type of person she wants to be.
The writing itself is very eloquent and it uses many rhetorical figures. I love the use of the anastrophes in verse it helps to create the perfect image to follow with your imagination.
Its a great story, told in an amazing way.
Overall: 5 out of 5