Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Canary Room (Review)

Hi there!

Title: The Canary Room
Author:  Edwin and Linda Casebeer
Publisher:  Serealities Press 

Published Date:  7th August 2014
Rating: 4 Stars

*Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy for review*

Synopsis: In the spring of 1945, a young boy in the Pacific Northwest will make a life-or-death decision.

Every morning, Herman "Hermy" Auerbach awakens to the pre-dawn song of canaries. The porch where he sleeps contains dozens of the songbirds. Outside, in the wider world, the Second World War enters its final, bloody months.

Hermy comes to the Williams' house under protest after his parents' divorce, a result of his father leaving home initially to pursue his impossible dream of becoming an intelligence officer. Herman's mother, remarried to a sailor, abandons her son to move across the country and start another family with her new husband. By the time he takes up residency in the canary room, Hermy has already suffered both from abandonment and bullying.

Life with the large, messy Williams clan offers Hermy little relief, although he bonds with the other boys in the family. When the boys hatch a wild escape plan, Hermy finds himself facing death, and deciding if his life is worth the struggle to survive after losing everything.

A compelling story of one boy's struggle to survive the uncertainties of foster care and the war, The Canary Room brings to life the daily challenges of life on the US home front in vivid, historically accurate detail.

Review: When I began this book I didn’t know it was written in a stream of consciousness style. At first that was pretty hard for me to adapt to, but after two chapters I was loved it. I am someone who likes books which try something unique or different, and this style was just that, and done well. It might not be for everyone, but it was for me J It also meant there were three different fonts: one for flashbacks, one for thoughts, one for present day.
 

I will admit that the only bad thing about this book is that it isn’t for people who need several plot twists to keep going. This book doesn’t have much of a plot really, but it’s more about gradually revealing what Hermy had to live through in his past and all the struggles he had to face. It wasn’t anything troublesome happening in the present. So I will say that this book is something strictly for those who like character driven novels, and not plot driven ones.

BUT that doesn’t mean that this book isn’t good. There are some lovely characters in there, like Sonny who is always influenced by his older brothers and maintains that childish innocence about him. Hermy is a boy beyond his years as well. Sandy was also one of my favourite characters, because although he could’ve left Hermy on his own when his mother didn’t show up, he didn’t. Even though Hermy had gone through an awful lot in his life and been let down quite a bit, Sandy was always a constant there for him, and was such a good and loyal friend. I liked him a lot ^.^ Hermy was also a character who had a lot of thoughts, but didn't always speak them.

One word of warning is that there is quite a bit of colourful language used here, due to one character who has a tendency to use those words. So if you try to avoid that, then this book might not be for you. Also, I think this book did a good job of portraying everyday citizens opinions on the war and what happened at Pearl Harbour. It’s a theme that runs through the book, but isn’t the main focus.

Overall, I don’t have too much to say. I liked it a lot :D Oh, and isn’t that cover amazing?

Olivia’s Question: Do you have a pet/s at home?

Olivia-Savannah x

29 comments:

  1. Hi Olivia - I really like the sound of this book. I'll definitely be checking into it more. We do have a silly cat at home; had him for years. We call him Gadget. >^..^<

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    1. I hope this is something you might like to try. Gadget is such a cute name ^.^ I think it is great to grow up with a pet at your side.

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  2. Sounds like a promising story all in all. I like that photo with a quote about introverts. That's so me. :)

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    1. I couldn't agree with it more myself ^.^

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  3. The book sounds very cool! I don't mind books with no apparent plot because they do; it's just not what we are used to. I might give it a go and sadly I don't have pets at home. My grandparents had a lovely cat but once I'm living on my own you bet I'm getting both a dog and a cat ^^

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    1. Yes, I would agree - it's just unique. Haha you go for it and make sure you get a pet when you're on your own. That's my plan too. ;)

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  4. YAY, I'm glad you could enjoy this book <3 Thanks for the lovely review, the concept does sound different from my usual read.

    Benish | Feminist Reflections

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    1. It was a good fun read for me and very connecting to the character as well.

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  5. That is a really neat cover, and glad to hear you enjoyed

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  6. Great review, Olivia! :) This definitely sounds like an interesting book. I'll have to add it to my TBR list. I do have a pet! He's a cat and his name is Mr. Jingles. He's lucky we didn't stick with Isabella when we thought he was a girl. ;)

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    1. Ooh that would've been a funny mistake to make! And Mr. Jingles is a lovely name. I definitely approve :)

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  7. Splendid review. The book sounds great! And a really nice blog :-)
    Aditi @ http://bookstopcorner.blogspot.in

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  8. Sounds interesting. I don't mind colorful language as long as it lends itself to the plot and characterizations.

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    1. Yes, I don't like it when it seems to be randomly thrown in.

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  9. I feel like this one wouldn't work for me. If there isn't much of a plot, then I tend to find trouble sticking with the book.

    Great review!

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    1. That makes sense. I am glad you know what will and won't work for you - you can find many more books you like that way!

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  10. Oh, no, no, no. I can't read books that use the whole stream of consciousness thing. Drives me crazy.

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    1. Ah, I do suppose this style isn't for everyone! I know quite a few people it would bother to no end.

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  11. Stream of consciousness. Hmmm. I don't know about that, Olivia. Sounds like someone blurting out whatever pops into their head, which always makes me want to snap their mouth shut.

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    1. Oh... someone really doesn't like this style of writing! In contrast I like getting so connected to the characters thoughts and everything. But to each their own opinion. Stream of consciousness is always a gamble because it doesn't work for everyone.

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  12. I like the cover too! I like books told in verse and other unique styles, so I am curious about this one. I liked hearing your thoughts and I am glad you enjoyed it so much. I will look for The Canary Room. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Oh, it seems you are very experimental in styles of writing! I hope you do like this one, and I think you will :)

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  13. I love fonts and am intrigued by the use of multiple fonts in this book! I think the cover is pretty sweet in it own way too. It seems like a great novel to gain insight to the events of Pearl Harbour, and for a historical event like that I think it was a smart choice for the writer to make this a more character-driven novel.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, by the way! (:

    Sherlyn @ Mermaid With A Book

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    1. Yes, it really does center around the thoughts and opinions of the people after that time. This sounds like something you would like :) And my pleasure!

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  14. Great review, Olivia. This one sounds okay, but not like a book that I would absolutely love. I don't know, I just get the sense that it would bore me a little bit.

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    1. Ah, not every book is for everyone! Thanks for stopping by though ^.^

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