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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Review: Mackenize, Lost and Found

Mackenzie, Lost and Found by Deborah Kerbel Publisher: Dundurn
Pub. Date: November 17, 2008
Pages: 256
Age Level: YA

Still recovering from the loss of her mother, fifteen-year-old Mackenzie Hill feels like she's drowning in a sea of pain and loneliness.To make matters worse, her eccentric father is forcing her to leave behind the only home she's ever known and move with him to Israel.

Coming of age in the ancient city of Jerusalem, Mackenzie forges a friendship with an American girl who's also suffered a tragic loss. At the same time, she becomes caught up in a forbidden romance with a Palestinian boy and an unwitting involvement in a ring of black-market bandits. Mackenzie has to find a way to solve the mystery of the stolen artefacts without betraying her first love. And along the way, come to terms with the grief that has been slowly eating away at her heart.

Mackenzie, Lost and found is the utterly original, beautifully crafted story of a forbidden love.

I thought Mackenzie and Nasir were such realistically portrayed characters. They were easy to relate to and I have a good feeling they will be very hard to forget. I particularly found Nasir to be an intriguing character. There was just something about him that was just so different from other male love interests in YA books and I don't just mean the fact that he's Muslim, though that probably played some part. Mackenzie and Nasir's relationship was genuine and based on the more important things, like being able to really talk to each other. Though at times it seems their relationship is developing too quickly, I had to remember that this book takes place over nearly a year of time. For this reason, I found myself wishing this book had been much longer so I could have watched their relationship develop and grow more, instead of just getting glimpses.

Mackenzie, Lost and Found is a very unique, and in some ways, possibly controversial story. However, I only loved it all the more for it. I have to give serious kudos to Deborah Kerbel for writing this wonderful book. There are very few authors out there who would dare to write a story about a romance between a Caucasian Canadian girl and a Muslim boy.

Deborah Kerbel's writing style definitely helped me form a closer connection to the story and its characters. I found it was suprisingly easy for me to picture the setting of Jerusalem. Now, everyone knows I love alternating perspectives in a book. After all, don't most people? Furthermore, I thought it was especially important that this book was written with alternating perspectives for numerous reasons. For starters, the insight I got into the Muslim culture. Another is that I got to know Nasir's opinions on his own culture and on others. Plus there is the obvious reason of getting to know both side of the story in general.

The ending, well, lets just say the ending was not my favorite aspect of this book. There were parts about it that I liked and parts I really didn't. What I liked about the ending was that I could really see how Mackenzie had changed throughout the book and, in a way, she finally finds closure on a couple of things. However, this book also left me with a huge, nagging question that I really wish had been answered. I believe anyone who has read this book knows exactly what I'm talking about.

Mackenzie, Lost and Found is an impressive, memorable book that I'll never forget. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend this book to anyone. Of course, there are always going to be those who aren't going to be keen on the idea of this book, but I think Mackenzie, Lost and Found is one that even they should read. I know it is one I'll be re-reading and I'm proud to have it in my personal library.

Characters: A-
Writing: B+
Plot: A
Ending: C+
Cover: B (Would have been higher but the girl on the cover just didn't seem to really reflect Mackenzie the way I'd have liked. Plus, she is supposed to be a blonde, so what is with the dark brown eyebrows?)

Overall: B+


Sandy said...

the girl's eyebrow doesn't go with her hair o__O but she does have really nice eyes xD

I didn't know that this was about a canadian girl falling in love with a muslim boy. That's really cool! I haven't come across many books that touch upon interracial couples so this sounds refreshing. Great review as usual Bri :)

Alyssa Kirk said...

Nice review! I like the way you grade the different aspects of the book! Thanks!

brizmus said...

This sounds like one of those books you keep thinking about for days and days after you read it. Sounds like a story I will love.
And the girl on the cover sort of looks like Ashley Olsen.

Teddyree said...

A wonderful review, you had me wanting to read it at "utterly original, beautifully crafted story of forbidden love." Definitely going on my wishlist... I too love alternating narratives!

Sarbear said...

I agree with Sandy on the eyebrow, hehehe. Funny how people notice things like that, huh?

Eleni said...

Nice review! The premise sounds really good especially about forbidden love :)

ally said...

Seems like it's a tough book to read through... But the characters seem to be strong enough to hold it til the end =)! Must be one heck of a read and must be a very inspiring one also!

Jackie said...

Good review! The cover is nice! I am going to have to read this! Forbidden love is always intriguing! :)

Unknown said...

I enjoyed the reviews. I'm entering this for my nieces. They are in college now and still love to read. So I know they'll like these. I like the way you grade the Characters etc. Thats nice.

Ashley said...

I've read mixed reviews about this book, but yours has convinced me. I really want to read this one. That's strange though about the cover girl not matching her appearance in the book... I hate when that happens.

ChickLitGirl said...

Wow. I am SO super excited for this book, its not even funny. I entered the contest and I even searched it up at my local bookstore but they dont have it. [no surprises there]. I'm Muslim, and that is one very strong reason why I would LOVE to read this book. Plus, from your review, it sounds deeper than a regular fluffy love story, and I love that.

Anonymous said...

This seems like a really different, wonderful novel. Great review! I definitely want to read it now.

Unknown said...

I love that feeling of wishing the book was longer so you can "see" more of the love developing, see more of the interactions - LOVE that!!! This is going on my WISH LIST to get with my next book order - WOW!

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Georgia, United States
Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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