The November Girl
by Lydia Kang
Read: September 15 - 18, 2017
Published: November 7, 2017 by Entangled Publishing
Category: YA, PNR,
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound
Book Description: 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.
Surrounding the bones of this PNR of two lonely teens falling in love, is a story that is deep in gorgeous imagery and heavy in themes. Although Hector and Anda seem very different at first, they have both grown up feeling like two halves of different things: he of heritages ("Too Korean or too American. Too Black, or not Black enough.") and she, split between her human and other nature. They both carry darkness and pain within them. She, embracing the death of ships and sailors to live, he, running from horrors at home. From who Anda is, and what Hector's running from, it doesn't seem like these two would find something in each other, but somehow they make perfect sense as a pair.
This story is romance focused, and for much of the book, Hector and Anda are the only characters present, together on a lonely island in the middle of Lake Superior that has been closed for the winter. I enjoyed watching them get to know each other as they work to survive, and Anda works to control her nature. One criticism: I did think Hector's level of surprise at finding out about what Anda is, was over done, especially, as it happens late in the book when he'd been observing her for a month by that point. It was clear she wasn't human!
Near the end the story picks up in intensity - both of these characters have a lot to face emotionally and physically - and I was turning pages quickly. I would have liked an epilogue, or at least a little more at the end. But this is a solid tale with depth to match the lake on which it is set, and an ending that left me satisfied.
Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone