Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Under The Ashes by Cindy Rankin : ARC Book Review

Under the AshesTitle: Under The Ashes
Author: Cindy Rankin
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Published Date: November 1st 2016
Genre: MG, Historical Fiction
Page Count:240
Format: Kindle

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Goodreads Summary: 

Elizabeth "Littlebeth" Morgan thinks she is the smartest, bravest eleven-year-old in Paso Robles. She loves sharing stories of the outlaws Frank and Jesse James and shows no fear when she whacks the head off a rattlesnake. But she is not the proper lady her family wants her to be so they send her to live with her maiden Aunt Sally in San Francisco to be tamed and refined. While Aunt Sally's life is unlike anything Littlebeth has experienced in the country, the pain of being sent away runs deep. Then Littlebeth meets Mr. Steinberg, Aunt Sally's Jewish neighbor. He treats her like a person, not just a little girl, and Littlebeth finds a friend in him. Mr. Steinberg is sweet on Aunt Sally and takes the two of them to see the famous opera singer, Enrico Caruso, perform. But Littlebeth doesn't understand the religious differences keeping Aunt Sally and Mr. Steinberg apart. Before she can meddle in their personal lives, the earthquake hits. Littlebeth is separated from them in the chaos of the streets. She must use her wits and bravery and trust in a few unlikely friends to locate Aunt Sally and Mr. Steinberg. But will Littlebeth be able to survive the disaster and be reunited with her family?"

 My Review:
"The skunks started it, Frank and Jesse James made it worse, and a rattler finished me off."

That's pretty much how everything did happen in Beth's mind. Sure all of those things added up without actually knowing why she had done these things make her seem like a problem child. But after we learn why she had done all of these things you really start to feel for this child and wish that the adults had time/patience to listen to her after all of these things had happened.

"The plan for my salvation cut deep. I had to be sent away, had to stop being me."
Sure sending her to live with her prim and proper aunt sounded like an awful idea to beth, but after she got their she had a good time and learned so much in a very short amount of time that without being sent away she wouldn't have known. Yes multiple things that happened were tragic, but in the short time she lived with her aunt she learned quite a bit and saw things differently.. She understood slightly why sometimes two people can't be together even if they want to be.

"Hard truth is, being the bravest, quickest, most interesting girl in town puts me at a disadvantage. Ordinary folks-even my own family-can't seem to tolerate me."

Overall I really enjoyed this book. Sure Beth was full of herself at times, and could be bratty, but that's what being eleven is. Its about learning things, being confident in what you do and thinking your doing what you should be doing even when the adults don't feel the same way. Beth was so brave when the tragedy happened. Her confidence in herself was most likely the only thing that made it possible for her to do what she did and help those around her as well. The ending was incredibly sad, but it was realistic which was nice to see. I feel like I need to read some more middle grade after this because of the ending and how much I enjoyed reading this book.

"Deep inside, I understood there was something else I couldn't do. Bring back the people I'd lost by holding on to Su Ling and Grace."

Thank you to netgalley and AW Teen for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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