Thursday, September 2, 2010

74. Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart

#74

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Title: Dangerous Neighbors
Author: Beth Kephart
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781606840801
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Author Website: Beth Kephart Books
Format: ARC Paperback
Rating: 4/5 stars
Finished: 8-26-10
Challenge: 100 Books 10, 1010 Challenge (Fiction category)

From Amazon:
It is 1876, the year of the Centennial in Philadelphia. Katherine has lost her twin sister Anna in a tragic skating accident. One wickedly hot September day, Katherine sets out for the exhibition grounds to cut short the haunted life she no longer wants to live.

Filled with vivid detail that artfully brings the past to life, National Book Award nominee Beth Kepart's
Dangerous Neighbors is a timeless and finely crafted novel about betrayal and guilt, hope and despair, love, loss, and new beginnings.

Beth Kephart continues to impress me more and more with her young adult novels. Her ability to pull so much nuance into a story with such ease of language is beautiful. I'd love to spend a day in her head, just to see the world through her eyes; it must be an amazing place to behold. She can create such vivid images and emotions, with the simplest language possible, and every page is filled with more and more. If you haven't had the privilege of reading anything by Beth Kephart, might I recommend Dangerous Neighbors?

The year is 1876, and Philadelphia is celebrating the Centennial with an Exposition. Katherine has also just lost her twin sister, Anna, and is trying to determine how best to leave this world and be with her sister. It is a decision that doesn't seem to have come to her easily, but one that seems unavoidable. After spending her whole life being Anna's protector, she feels that she is responsible for Anna's death.

However, do to a series of circumstances that seem beyond her control as she is thrust into situations with people around her who seem to want to distract her from her goal, she begins to realize that maybe there is more still to look forward to in this life. These people, the "dangerous neighbors" who float on the sidelines of her life, some who she knows, some who are strangers to her, help to draw her back to her herself.

I believe that everyone who reads Beth Kephart's books will each walk away with something different. This can be said with any book, really, but there seems to be an ethereal element to her books that really lend themselves to individual interpretation and understanding. She doesn't challenge her readers directly but subtly, to think about each story and the implications of that story. Do yourself a favor. Read Dangerous Neighbors. You won't be sorry.

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