Wednesday, December 31, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: All The Light We Cannot See

Good morning everyone and Happy New Years' Eve! So I have ended the year on a great note. I finished my final book of the year for the Goodreads challenge and now I am at an even 160 books. Yay! It has been a great year. Considering the fact that my original goal was 50, I am happy.

Now I want to end the year on a good note with my blog as well. I finished All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr over a week ago and I am still thinking about it. It seemed like a great choice for my last review of the year.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as a locksmith. When she is six, she goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and find her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis invade Paris and they flee to her reclusive uncle's home in the city of Saint-Malo. With them, they take what may be the museum's most valuable and dangerous jewel. In a mining town in Germany, orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert in building and fixing radios, a talent that earns him a spot at a brutal academy for Hitler youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance.

This book goes back and forth between Marie and Werner's point of views. It takes a long time to realize the connection between the two, but in the meantime my advice is just enjoy the beautiful writing and not worry so much about that connection. Because Marie is blind, Doerr has a way of writing the most beautiful imagery that convey just how heightened her other senses are.

Here is one example of Doerr's imagery when Marie visited the ocean for the first time: "When she raises her face to the sky, she can feel the thousand tiny spines of raindrops melt onto her cheeks, her forehead."

There are so many intricate stories in this book. The title refers to the radio waves Werner works with, the fact that Marie-Laure is blind, and it is a metaphor for all the invisible stories of World War II. Little Marie becomes a spy working with the resistance and she is one of my favorite characters by far. She is sweet and independent and so, so brave. I never thought I would read a book where I actually felt sympathy for someone working for the Nazis, but I did. Werner was caught up trying to leave his orphanage and the main reason he went to Hitler's academy was because he wanted to further his scientific education. He pushes aside his doubts about what the Nazis are doing to achieve this goal. By the end of the book, I loved Werner almost as much as Marie. I won't give away any spoilers, but the ending was not quite what I expected. And it wasn't what I wanted. This book was one of the most beautiful books I have read this year. I give the book a 5/5.

14 comments :

  1. So good when a book stays with you. They are the best! Emma

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    1. Oh absolutely Emma. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. So glad you loved this one as much as I did. This is the best book I've read in a long time.

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    1. Mine too. Made the list for the most beautiful book I have read this year.

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  3. What a brilliant review - I really want to read a copy of this one - I've requested a copy from NG so I'll have to hope the publishers look favourably on me.

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    1. Thanks Cleo. I hope you get it. I am sure you will enjoy it!

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  4. Great review! I received this for Christmas and am making it my first book of 2015.

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    1. Thanks Kelly. I am sure you will enjoy it!

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  5. Great review! I finally picked up a copy of this one, and I'm looking forward to reading it in the coming year.

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    1. Oh I'm so glad bookshelffantasies. It really is a great book!

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  6. Wow, this sounds so good. And so heartbreaking, and emotional. I am definitely going to have to get this book. I am partially afraid of the aftermath, but I know I need to read it if it had such an impact on you. Great review, and congrats on the 160 books, that is fantastic!

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. Thanks so much Shannon! I know, these WWII books are hard to read sometimes. But this one was so beautifully done. It's worth it!

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  7. You make this sounds really good but I am not sure it it's for me.

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    1. Jennifer, I know these kind of books aren't for everyone. It really was a good read though. :)

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