Sunday, May 3, 2015

'One Thing Stolen' by Beth Kephart


Something is not right with Nadia Cara. She’s become a thief. She has secrets she can’t tell. And when she tries to speak, the words seem far away. In Florence, Italy, with her epicurean brother, professor father, and mother who helps at-risk teens, Nadia finds herself trapped by her own obsessions and following the trail of an elusive Italian boy whom no one but herself has seen. While her father researches a flood that nearly destroyed Florence in 1966, Nadia wonders if she herself can be rescued—or will she disappear?

Set against the backdrop of a glimmering city, One Thing Stolen is an exploration of obsession, art, and a rare neurological disorder. It is about language and beauty, imagining and knowing, and the deep salvation of love.

I'm not entirely sure about what's going on in this book. What happened? I got very confused. 
A major part of why I didn't like this book is because I didn't comprehend what was going on. The writing was odd for me. It was written in a way my mind couldn't comprehend. It wasn't a style I typically read. Therefore, I didn't understand. This is a major part of it. If it seems like I'm sounding daft, this is why.

Nadia is an interesting character. Her artistic side. Her loss of words. I'm interested in this diagnosis now. What is it? How is it caused? What happens at the end? I'm not sure. We don't even get much of Nadia. I think Nadia is a great character, though. She has something with her. And her past? She's such a cool kid. Adventurous. Daring. It seems like that carries on. And her mind? It's a tangled mess. But it gives out beautiful things. Her nests.
Maggie is such a good friend. She is a truly good friend. I want to say more than that. That her personality was stunning. Her selflessness amazing. (Well...that's true.) But I can't. This book is too short to give anything about the characters. She's a good friend, though. She left her home for Nadia. She came to Florence for Nadia. To help Nadia. To make Nadia feel better. 
With all the switching of POVs, I feel like I didn't get enough of either girl to write too much. 

The plot is confusing. What's going on? I get that she's following a guy. Why? I don't know. (Perhaps she saw something in him. Or liked his looks. It all depends. Or many her imagination wandered.) 
I feel like Maggie's parts are only slightly clearer. They seem more rational. But at the same time...I don't think they're interesting. The plot isn't the best. For me, it's not clear. But it isn't bad. Not bad at all. It could have been clearer. But I just might not understand.

The romance...less than satisfactory. Where did this come from? Why? You barely met. I don't like it. Romances like this irk me. 
I don't see chemistry. And I don't see response. These two barely knew each other. What attracted them to each other? Art? Thieving? I'm not sure. Maybe Benedetto saw a fellow thief in Nadia. Perhaps Benedetto saw her nests. (Somehow...) Or Nadia saw Benedetto's flowers and thought they were beautiful. (And she did.) 
But chemistry. Okay. You barely met the dude. Alright. Let's pretend I'm fine with that. Then you kiss. And sparks fly? Not really. It's a kiss. He's a boy. You're a girl. Does it make your heart race? Does he make your heart race? Are you lovers? Or something else? I want to say this romance healed Nadia. But it seemed to make things so much worse. 

The ending is okay. It's bittersweet. She's okay. Or going to be okay. And she will return. One day. Some day. The ending is one of the only things I like about this story. It's good. The way the author writes Benedetto's part. It's neat. Filled with hope and longing. And promise. Promises can be broken, though. But that is not important here. 
There were no questions on my end. No 'what if that happened'. I'm perfectly fine with this ending.
Nadia will return. One day. And she will be better. And with Benedetto.
I think that's a good ending. 

Sunny with a 75% chance of rain

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