The November Girl by Lydia Kang
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen
*I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
I am Anda, and the lake is my mother. I am the November storms that terrify sailors and sink ships. With their deaths, I keep my little island on Lake Superior alive.
Hector has come here to hide from his family until he turns eighteen. Isle Royale is shut down for the winter, and there’s no one here but me. And now him.
Hector is running from the violence in his life, but violence runs through my veins. I should send him away, to keep him safe. But I’m half human, too, and Hector makes me want to listen to my foolish, half-human heart. And if I do, I can’t protect him from the storms coming for us.
I’m not sure how to start this, since there are a few things I want to mention about this book, but just getting to a starting point is difficult.
The characters Anda and Hector are both broken, but in such a perfect way for the story that I find them both relatable and loveable.
Hector come from a broken home, he lives with his Uncle. He is of mixed race of Korean and African American, so growing up with his mother they both faced the looks and comments. She chose to stay in Korea and wants Hector to live with his father. Hectors father is in the military so, his father asks his brother to raise him. You get the idea that all Hectors uncle cares about is the money and not him. Hector feels the only way to deal with his anger is by self harming.
Anda is a pure “wild child” who has lived on the island her entire life, and of course there is a very sound reason as to why. She is ‘The November Witch” that the people on the island talk about, but no one really knows that the Witch is an actual person, and not just an urban legend. Anda has a difficult time with her “human side” when she has her mother in her ear telling her to kill Hector, since he should not be on the island, Anda is curious and wants to know more about Hector.
The whole story is told in alternating pov’s between Anda and Hector. The first half of the book is like a dance between the two of them, seeing each other, trying to talk to each other, avoiding each other, since neither one wants to be seen. After the ice is slowly breaking between the two they are almost inseparable, although there are still secrets being kept back.
Hector wants to know more about Anda and why she is alone on the island, Anda wants to know why Hector ran away to hide on the island. As the story progresses, you find that Anda and Hector are more alike than opposite, since they are both children of anger and rage.
By the end of the book the secrets are known and the feelings haven’t changed, Hector finds his voice and stands up for what he wants in his own life, Anda accepts her fate and seems to be ok with that.
This was a wonderful stand alone book to read, and I found it was a nice break from all the series I’ve been trying to get caught up on. I was also happy to see that my assumption about Anda was wrong and that she wasn’t the mythical creature I thought she was.
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Lydia Kang is an author of young adult fiction, poetry, and narrative non-fiction. She graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine, completing her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She is a practicing physician who has gained a reputation for helping fellow writers achieve medical accuracy in fiction. Her poetry and non-fiction have been published in JAMA, The Annals of Internal Medicine, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and Great Weather for Media. She believes in science and knocking on wood, and currently lives in Omaha with her husband and three children.