Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Book Review: Between Two Ends by David Ward

Title: Between Two Ends
Author: David Ward
Publisher: Amulet Books
e-ARC, 288 pages (Via NetGalley)
Date Published: May 1, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
When Yeats and his parents visit his grandmother's creepy old house, Yeats reunites a pair of pirate bookends and uncovers the amazing truth: Years ago, Yeats's father traveled into The Arabian Nights with a friend, and the friend, Shari, is still stuck in the tales. Assisted by the not-always-trustworthy pirates, Yeats must navigate the unfamiliar world of the story of Shaharazad--dodging guards and tigers and the dangerous things that lurk in the margins of the stories--in order to save Shari and bring peace to his family.

David Ward has created a fantasy rich with atmosphere and full of heart-stopping drama.
Between Two Ends is a fun, rollicking adventure set in an old Maine house surrounded by literature and the dusky landscape of the classic One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. Yeats, a boy of 12, has the weight of the world on his shoulders – or more like the pressure to keep his family together. He’s young, but intelligent. His father seems to be falling into insanity and all Yeats can do is try to hold him up. This makes him wise beyond his years and quite the courageous boy.

Yeats instantly grabbed hold of my heart. He’s such a sweet boy and he’s ready to throw caution to the wind in an attempt to salvage his parent’s marriage and his father’s sanity. In the process, he learns of the secrets that have been tearing his father apart for past twenty years and discovers that he might be able to save more than one person one his journey.

I don’t want to give anything away, but you have to know that this book is wonderful. It’s surprising and magical and full of adventure. This is a story that boys, girls, adults, and anyone in between will enjoy. It starts off a bit slow, but once Yeats ventures into – yes, into – One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, things really take off. Ward mixes the classic story of Shaharazad with Yeats’ poetry-obsessed family and the result is an adventure with swash-buckling bookends, dutiful daughters, sword-fighting, and the bond of family.

Between Two Ends was a delight to read. The Arabian village jumps off the page and the references to poetry, which could easily seem out of place, aid the story by giving the characters quirks that older readers will appreciate, but younger readers won’t dismiss. Yeats’ journey is heartfelt and sweet, but holds deeper themes that all readers will enjoy. The ending is satisfying, but leaves the reader hopeful for some more magic; especially when they find out where that magic may lead to.

Opening line: Dust rose in stifling clouds into the Arabian sky. ~ pg. ix

Favorite lines:
“Yet, there is one thing I know for certain: we cannot claim to have lived life unless we have taken risks.” ~ pg. 205

*This is the e-ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

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Candace said...

I hadn't heard of this one before but it sounds really good!

Bere said...

Wonderful review, Nikki! I have to say that the cover looks absolutely fantastic. I love it! The story sounds really great, too. Definitely one to look out for. Thank you! =]

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