Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Review of Savvy
I recently read this book, Savvy, by Ingird Law, which I got at the book sale. It's a middle grade novel about a girl, Mibs, who comes from a family where everyone, at thirteen, aquires some kind of unique super power. One of her older brothers can generate electricity, while the other can unleash storms. Her mother does everything perfectly, her grandfather can make new land and her grandmother, before she died, could capture radio signals. At the beginning of the book, Mibs is just about to turn thirteen, and she's unsure about what new power she'll gain. But then, when her father gets into an accident, everything gets shaken up, and in order to make things right again, Mibs first needs to take a little journey in a big pink bus.
Now, let me first say, I don't read middle grade that much, or at least I haven't in recent years, but reading Savvy made me think that I should pick some up again. It reminded me of everything I love about good middle grade novels - it has all the depth and complexity and fun of YA, but with slightly less angst. Now, don't get me wrong, I love me some angst, but sometimes, one needs a break. Savvy, for me, was a great break. It was fun, but not fluffy.
One thing I loved about the book was that it dealt with a lot of issues, like family and first love and self-acceptance, but it did it in a really subtle way. It was never hitting you over the head with the issues. They were all mixed into an exciting story with quirky, funny characters. Like, I saw the whole savvy thing as a metaphor for accepting what's unique about yourself. Everyone has a different ability, and sometimes they don't think it's that important, but it ends up being useful. They have to learn to accept it and to control it and to use it in a best way.
The book also written in a really unique way. Here is an example: "And with Samson still sitting stone-faced and solemn, a grinning giggle spread through the ranks, turning into a gut-busting crack-up as the day's tension released like waves hitting a shore." So you see, unique. Very descriptive and sort of sing-song. She has a unique way of describing things, which made it interesting to read. For the most part, I liked this writing style. Sometimes I felt like it was a little too much, but that may have just been because I was grumpy and tired from exams while reading some of this. Also, sometimes I felt like the some of the language used was above the level of a thirteen year old, but, again, for the most part, I really liked it.
Overall, I loved this book, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for something interesting and sweet to read, or trying to find something for a kid to read. It reminded me a lot of Sharon Creech's novels, which I love.