Sunday, September 1, 2013

Almost English by Charlotte Mendelson

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Pages: 288pgs

The Story

Home is a foreign country: they do things differently there.

In a tiny flat in West London, sixteen-year-old Marina lives with her emotionally delicate mother, Laura, and three ancient Hungarian relatives. Imprisoned by her family's crushing expectations and their fierce unEnglish pride, by their strange traditions and stranger foods, she knows she must escape. But the place she runs to makes her feel even more of an outsider.

At Combe Abbey, a traditional English public school for which her family have sacrificed everything, she realises she has made a terrible mistake. She is the awkward half-foreign girl who doesn't know how to fit in, flirt or even be. And as a semi-Hungarian Londoner, who is she? In the meantime, her mother Laura, an alien in this strange universe, has her own painful secrets to deal with, especially the return of the last man she'd expect back in her life. She isn't noticing that, at Combe Abbey, things are starting to go terribly wrong.

The Review

A big thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me an ARC copy of this book!

ALMOST ENGLISH was a bit of a misconception for me. While the cover may appear to be quite adorable in its pretty fonts and in the cover's own simplicity, and while book itself and its own blurb is supposed to read more like a young adult novel (at least that was my own understanding of the book when I requested it in the first place) but as I began reading the book itself and taking in the storyline, I was actually quite shocked with the events, especially in terms of the sexual innuendo that occurred, and I was especially taken back with how much the book read more like an adult book than anything else. Yeah, it was definitely a great misconception of mine.

The story? The characters? The topic? Well, when I first went into this book I had many expectations and it definitely sounded like the type of read I would be interested in. However, while I did like learning about the experiences foreigners have in adjusting to another country and reading about interesting foreign family matters, but there was just something 'off' about this book and I think that was because the book was nothing like what I was hoping. It's unfortunate really because I was looking forward to reading this book, more so because I haven't heard too much about it from other readers and I like reading something not too many people have read. So yeah, unfortunately for me this book didn't go well for me and neither did the characters whom I just couldn't relate to on any level.

Overall, maybe it was just me in not liking ALMOST ENGLISH, but if you like a book that explores the adjustment of foreigners living in London and the experiences families have in that particular case, then you'll like this book but just don't expect a YA feel because it's definitely didn't have it.

The Rating
1/5 stars

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