Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book Review: Open Wounds by Joe Lunievicz (Indie Takeover)

Title: Open Wounds
Author: Joe Lunievicz
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: WestSide Books
Hardcover, 344 pages
Date Published: May 31, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
Cid Wymann, a scrappy kid fighting to survive a harsh upbringing in Queens, NY, is a almost a prisoner in his own home. His only escape is sneaking to Times Square to see Errol Flynn movies full of swordplay and duels. He s determined to become a great fencer, but after his family disintegrates, Cid spends five years at an orphanage until his injured war-veteran cousin Lefty arrives from England to claim him. Lefty teaches Cid about acting and stage combat, especially fencing, and introduces him to Nikolai Varvarinski, a brilliant drunken Russian fencing master who trains Cid. By 16, Cid learns to channel his aggression through the harsh discipline of the blade, eventually taking on enemies old and new as he perfects his skills. Evocative of The Book Thief with a dash of Gangs of New York, Open Wounds is the page-turning story of a lost boy s quest to become a man.
Open Wounds is coming of age story unlike any other. This is due to the incredible 1930’s New York setting and the main character, Cedric Wymann. The New York City setting comes to life with the pushcart vendors and Cid’s frequent trips to see his favorite films.  I could feel how different the city was back then, compared to now. The injustices and the prejudices run rampant in Cid’s world, but he doesn’t pay them much attention. Cid is too focused on simply making it.

Cid has a tough childhood, a rough adolescence, and complicated teen years. His father is abusive, his grandma hates that he’s half Jewish, and his only solace comes with the surprise of making friends in Tomik Kopecky and Siggy Braun. Joe Lunievicz gives us a character to love in Cid. The poor kid can’t seem to catch a break and watching him grow up and grow strong despite all the bad that’s thrown at him is a pleasure.

When Cid’s cousin Lefty takes him from the orphanage, he gets the chance to have a life that he deserves. Lefty is quite the character with his drunken nature, but soft heart. Even though he’s not the ideal father figure, he’s exactly what Cid needs in his life. And, he’s the one who helps Cid find his love for fencing. Their relationship is realistic, especially for the time period. The same goes for Cid’s drunken, Russian fencing instructor, Nikolai Varvarinski.

Open Wounds
is a sword-fighting, action-packed, emotional, and oftentimes tender, coming-of-age story about a boy who quickly grows into a man. Lunievicz captures the time with his pop culture references and captures the reader’s heart with his characters. Cid’s childhood follows him into his teen years and seeing Tomik, Siggy, and even the neighborhood bullies come back into play for a final duel is the perfect way to end the book. Boys, girls, teens, and adults alike will be thrilled by Open Wounds and its harsh, but hopeful telling of a boy on his way to becoming a man.

Opening line: It begins with blood and ends with blood. ~ pg. 9

Favorite lines/passages: I looked up at Mr. Braun and nodded. I believed him because he’d been kind to me. I believed him because I had nothing else to believe in. ~ pg. 77
And this one:
“Each man chooses his own means of death, some with eyes open, some with eyes closed.” ~ pg. 261
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Joseph Lunievicz online:

Buy it online:

4 comments:

Candace said...

Oh yay! I just accepted this one for review yesterday so I'm SO happy to hear it's good! Your review made me excited to read it now. I just hadn't heard anything about it before. Thank you for the review!

BrittLit said...

That is quite the first line. This sounds really interesting though, I mean 1930's orphanage is a win. Also drunk Russian fencing! HA! Great review I'l have to check this one out.

FreeEbooksHere.com said...

Thanks for the review of this book. It's hard to find the time to do as much reading as I'd like...so your reviews are so helpful!

Bere said...

Fantastic review, Nikki! I have to say that cover is really great. I hadn't heard of Open Wounds until today. It really seems like a wonderful read. I already feel like I want to take care of Cid. The opening line is definitely something. I love your favorite lines. I think that I'll definitely be on the lookout for this one. Thank you, Nikki! :]

Post a Comment

Comments are love and I love you for leaving one!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...