Monday, July 9, 2012

Book Review: My Name Is Mina by David Almond

Title: My Name Is Mina
Author: David Almond
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Hardcover, ARC 300 pages
Date Published: October 11, 2011
Source: Publisher
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
Mina loves the night. While everyone else is in a deep slumber, she gazes out the window, witness to the moon's silvery light. In the stillness, she can even hear her own heart beating. This is when Mina feels that anything is possible and her imagination is set free.

A blank notebook lies on the table. It has been there for what seems like forever. Mina has proclaimed in the past that she will use it as a journal, and one night, at last, she begins to do just that. As she writes, Mina makes discoveries both trivial and profound about herself and her world, her thoughts and her dreams.

Award-winning author David Almond reintroduces readers to the perceptive, sensitive Mina before the events of Skellig in this lyrical and fantastical work. My Name is Mina is not only a pleasure to read, it is an intimate and enlightening look at a character whose open mind and heart have much to teach us about life, love, and the mysteries that surround us.
Having never read Skellig, there’s a good chance that my review of My Name Is Mina is far different from someone’s who has read that book. My Name Is Mina is said to be a prequel to Skellig and though I never felt confused about any of the book, I think it lacked focus. The story is simply about a girl who is unlike most other girls and other children.

Mina is precocious and imaginative in ways that other children are not. She views the world with bright-eyed innocence and sees beauty everywhere. Having the entire novel from her point of view allows the readers to see the world with fresh wonderment. But Mina’s journal entries tend to wax poetic about feathers and flying and words, etc. It all becomes repetitive and the point becomes muddled.

For 300 pages, readers can live in Mina’s head, but that’s essentially it. There is no greater plot, other than seeing Mina. We see how she views the world, how she tends to hate school, how she loves her mother, and how she is beyond curious about all the things she encounters. She’s a loner, but sweet enough. It’s just that that is it. Mina’s story has no relevancy other than that.

My Name Is Mina has some incredibly glowing reviews, but I couldn’t view it the way others have. My suggestion is to most definitely read Skellig prior to picking this one up because I think it will change any readers view on Mina and the entire book. I have no doubt that this precocious British school girl will sweep other readers away into her imagination.

Opening line: My name is Mina and I love the night. ~ pg. 9

Favorite lines/passages: I sit in my tree
I sing like the birds
My beak is my pen
My songs are my poems ~ pg. 181

*This is the 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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Andria Buchanan said...

Okay I wasn't a fan of Skelling-- either was Oldest-- so I think I'll pass.

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