Book Review: Plain Kate by: Erin Bow

Plain Kate
Publisher: Scholastic
Publish Date: 1 September 2010
Origins: Publisher for Review
Format: Paperback

Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver's daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden charms are so fine that some even call her "witch-blade" -- a dangerous nickname in a town where witches are hunted and burned in the square.

For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate's father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.

Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he'll give Kate the means to escape the town that seems set to burn her, and what's more, he'll grant her heart's wish. It's a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes that she can't live shadowless forever -- and that Linay's designs are darker than she ever dreamed.

I really enjoyed this story. It felt sort of like reading a fairy tale or old legend and I love to read anything that has a bit of gypsy and this book indeed does. I enjoyed the vocabulary used through out the book. I don't know any Russian or any of languages (or any besides English for that matter) so I don't know if they are actual words but they lent believability and potency to the story; made it deeper and more interesting.

I enjoyed getting to know Kate and Taggle. This book is unique to young adult literature because it is so very different than anything else out right now. It is a story for a story lover...not a romance lover, a wolf lover, vampire lover...this book puts the story back in YA. I will look for my by this author in the future. You should too.

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  1. Glad you liked this one! I've been wanting to read it. I think I'll put it on hold at the library right now :D

  2. Oh yay so happy to hear you enjoyed it ^_^. All that you stated in your review are the reasons I want to read this book.

  3. I've heard a lot of positive feedback for this one. Thanks for the review.

  4. Beautiful review! I've been intrigued by this book, but this review makes me want to run out and get it right now! It "puts the story back in YA" - that is beautiful and such high praise! Thank you for the wonderful review!


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