Endangered: A (Rapid Fire) Review

Endangered by Eliot Schrefer (2012)

Endangered by Eliot SchreferIf you follow the book award season, you’ve probably already heard about this National Book Award Finalist from 2012.

Either way Endangered is an Important book about the political unrest in the Congo and the horrible state of affairs for Bonobo monkeys in the area. Sophie spends every summer with her mother in the Congo and expects this year to be much of the same. Until she becomes the reluctant (and unlikely) foster mother to a baby Bonobo she names Otto. Then war breaks out and Sophie is isolated and trapped with the Bonobos at her mother’s conservation preserve.

Schrefer went to the Congo to research this book and it shows in the details and nuances of the setting and Sophie’s relationship with Otto and the other Bonobos. The story is gripping and exciting. Because of the emphasis on action and survival, this is a great book for any reader. Endangered would also be a particularly strong choice for reluctant readers and/or readers who are hesitant to read books with a female narrator.

Reading Endangered it is immediately obvious why this book was a National Book Award finalist. As the story progresses it is also apparent why this book did not ultimately win. While Sophie and Otto are great characters in a page-turning story, Sophie’s voice was not always convincing. Sophie is fourteen during the events of the story. While her narration is insightful and contemplative, it also often sounds like a much older character. The epilogue is also frustrating. Without getting into spoilers it felt very incongruous to have an epilogue years later and have one of the supposed key things about Sophie’s life be that she is engaged and has dated several boys. There were so many other things to say, other details to share. After a totally empowering, dramatic read the epilogue brought Endangered to a close on a slightly sour note.

*This book was acquired for review from the publisher at BEA 2012*


In which I become a Preferred Blogger (by Paper Lantern Lit anyway)

A cool thing happened and I am finally able to sit down and share it with you, dear readers.

I am officially a part of Paper Lantern Lit’s Preferred Blogger Program.*

I even have the button to prove it**

Paper Lantern Lit Preferred

For those of you who have no idea what that means, Paper Lantern Lit basically is a company that finds new authors, creates story ideas, and mixes it all together to make new books. Lauren Oliver is one of the co-founders and if you check out the PLL bookshop page you’ll probably find a few books there that you had no idea were connected to PLL.

(You should also consider checking out the Paper Lantern Lit blog  because they have cool things like a “Historical Hotties” tournament that is going on right now. You can go and make sure to vote for Will Herondale. Or other characters I guess. If you have to.)

What does this mean for me? Basically I get a shiny button and will receive materials for review from PLL on occasion.*** And I get to call myself a preferred blogger. Because, really, why not?

In terms of the blog nothing is going to change. As I said, Paper Lantern Lit is behind quite a few books–many of which were already on my reading radar.

Then, because I like lists here are some PLL books I’ve already read

  1. The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
  2. Fury by Elizabeth Miles

(I also have Venom by Fiona Paul on deck at home from BEA 2012)

And, of course, here are some PLL books I haven’t read and am excited to investigate:

  1. Notes From a Ghost Town by Kate Ellison
  2. Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green
  3. Popular Clone by M. E. Castle
  4. Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill (This one isn’t out yet but I am OBSESSED with the premise–it’s one of my all-time favorite tropes. Morrill’s first book Meant to Be is already out if you’re excited about the author and want to reader something by her right away. I still need to get to it but it looks really cute.)

Anyway, I’m really excited and happy I finally had time to share my piece of fun blogger news!

*In the spirit of full disclosure you can also read the “application” post from the PLL blog asking for bloggers to apply too. (I just like linking to stuff, it’s who I am.)

**You might have noticed that PLL is an abbreviation favored by both Paper Lantern Lit and Pretty Little Liars. So sometimes when I see my shiny new button I just want to pretend I’m going to spend all of my time blogging about A or whatever.

***I always indicate if review copies are received from authors, publishers or BEA (as opposed to my standard library/Amazon Vine sources) so now there will also be reviews citing Paper Lantern Lit as the provider.