- File Size: 466 KB
- Print Length: 163 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: April 16, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007UZ72K4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#2,857,064 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #4523 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Metaphysical & Visionary
- #5339 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age
- #7913 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age
|Print List Price:||$8.50|
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|Length: 163 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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This is a story with a conscience. It's about friendships lost and gained. Cassie finds herself intrigued by Violet the silent girl in her class. Whether driven by curiosity or pity, a friendship is formed, and the journey begins. "The First" is an Earth Day adventure tale that will stay with you long after you read the last page.
But that's not to say that this is a formulaic children's book. In the debates over what is and is not a work for younger readers, the only consistent definition is one where the writer is striving to say something about childhood. Sara Zaske definitely has something to say about childhood, and she's doing it in a faithful voice and in an honest way that takes her novel away from a lot of the tropes of the genre.
Cassie, her protagonist, defies cliché at every turn. She's not the magical character, but neither is she the scrappy outsider, fighting up from nothing. She's the side-kick, in every single way--the character who, in any other book, would be a foil for comic asides and set pieces, and it is very novel to see that middle-distance character given narrative focus. She is de-centred from the supernatural story, but she's no reflective, passive observer of events; it's her story, and the magical elements are in service to her story. But even this could be clichéd if the magical events were befalling this very ordinary girl. Crucially, they're not; what brings Cassie into the plot are her own selfish agendas and I found that really engaging and accessible. Cassie is a uniquely believable teenage girl, and her presence in this otherwise very ethereal world gives it a powerful sense of the recognisable. Add to this a dusty, urban contrast to her otherworld, and there's a strain of Charlaine Harris' Bon Temps in Zaske's Oakland that really pushes the modern aesthetic onto what is--in its bones--a very traditional fairytale.
Zaske is, herself, revised and de-centred. All that moving about, becoming a mother, while having that profound desire to look backwards--she is in the middle distance, and can empathise with her main character completely. If she always writes from this authentic place, I'd be quick to pass her books onto my own daughter.
The First by Sara Zaske is about Cassie, a teenager who used to be part of a mean girls crowd until she meets Violet, a strange girl who has powers that Cassie cannot even fathom. But as she meets Violet's grandfather, who is charismatic but sinister, Cassie realizes that she is going to play a large role in determining what is going to happen to humanity.
I'll say it out right. Most of the books I receive through librarything are not quality. But this book is different. I was impressed, and I'm hard to impress. The story starts with an observation of Cassie's and from then on, I was hooked. I loved how Zaske gradually revealed the plot and magical powers. This world and people that she has imagined has her own unique, creative twist in a deluged young adult genre. I thought all the female characters were very compelling: Cassie mostly, but also, Violet and her mother. Also, in a world full of trilogies, I admired and applauded the fact that this was a stand alone novel, and an excellent one at that.
Overall, this was a compelling, imaginative, fast-paced joy to read. I will definitely be looking out for Sara Zaske's future work.
Most recent customer reviews
This book started of just ok for me.Read more
Cassie becomes intriqued with her school's shy girl, Violet. Violet is more than human.Read more