A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell
Posted June 1, 2009on:
Title: A Map of the Known World
Author: Lisa Ann Sandell
Good If… You’re looking for a short and emotional book.
Summary: (Taken from Amazon)
Cora Bradley dreams of escape. Ever since her reckless older brother, Nate, died in a car crash, Cora has felt suffocated by her small town and high school. She seeks solace in drawing beautiful maps, envisioning herself in exotic locales. When Cora begins to fall for Damian, the handsome, brooding boy who was in the car with Nate the night he died, she uncovers her brother’s secret artistic life and realizes she had more in common with him than she ever imagined. With stunning lyricism, Sandell weaves a tale of one girl’s journey through the redemptive powers of art, friendship, and love.
My Thoughts: Sandell’s previous novel, Song of the Sparrow, blew me away so much that I had very high expectations for A Map of the Known World. This novel proved that not only can Sandell write amazing stories in verse, she’s also a very talented prose writer.
A Map of the Known World is a slow to start. I was a little disappointed but since I had nothing better to do, I stuck with it. Fast forward a chapter or two and I’m glued to the book. I finished it in one sitting.
Some people may not like this and say that everything happened too fast, characters like Damian don’t exist. And you know, maybe guys like Damian don’t exist but I wish they did. He played such a powerful role in the story and I completely fell in love with him from the time I read the summary. Personally, I felt that he was realistic. The things I wanted to happen ended up happening but I could see a real boy acting the same way as he did – emotional, quiet, and the artsy “bad boy”.
Cora and her family were also realistic characters. I’ve never lost any siblings so I’ve never seen it happen with my own family but I could see other families closing down and reacting in the same way. Cora was fierce and independent in her own way and it all fit in perfectly with the story.
The plot was original – I loved the part maps and art played in everything. It moved quickly but everything was spread out nicely so it all worked. The only thing I wasn’t overly fond of was the ending – I wish there had been more closure, especially between Damian and Cora.
I’ve been recommending this book like crazy already and I definitely recommend that everyone reading this picks up a copy ASAP.