Series: The Winners Trilogy
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Square Fish
Published Date: March 3rd 2015
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Dystopia, Historical Fiction, War
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. A profoundly moving story of family, drama, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.
“Survival isn't wrong. You can sell your honor in small ways, so long as you guard yourself. you can pour a glass of wine like it's meant to be poured, and watch a man drink, and plot your revenge.”
This book is my favorite fantasy book I've read so far this year!
The first hundred or so pages of this book are a little slow due to us having to get immersed into the world and starting to understand how certain things work. But after those first one hundred I couldn't put the book down. I wanted to know what was going to happen to Kestrel was she finally going to give in and do what her father wanted her to? Or was she going to keep doing her own thing with the little amount of time she had left?
Plus we also have the biggest new issue in Kestrel's life.. The slave Arin she purchased at the market that she has no idea what do with. When she finally starts getting comfortable having a slave though she makes sure that he is well taken care of and even has him be her escort as much as possible.
“She reminded herself bitterly that this was what curiosity had bought her: fifty keystones for a singer who refused to sing, a friend who wasn't her friend, some one who was hers and yet would never be hers.”
Arin is such a complicated character, he wasn't always a slave and because of that at times he really struggles with making sure he doesn't let his previous life start to show. He wants to help his people, but to do that he's going to have to make some tough decisions that will break his heart sadly.
The friendship Arin and Kestrel end up having while unlikely was nice to see. While they both have secrets that they keep from each other, the make an okay team.
"Maybe it's not as easy for me as it is for you."
He wheeled on her. "It's not easy for me," "You know that it's not. What do you think I have had to swallow these past ten years? What do you think I have had to do to survive?"
"Truly," she said, "I haven't the faintest interest. You may tell your sad story to someone else."
He flinched as if slapped. His voice came low: "You can make people feel so small.”
I really loved this book! The tension between Kestrel in Arin was perfect and there wasn't any insta anything in a ya book for a change! The political side of Kestrel and Arin's lives I found fascinating as well as the historical elements that were added in. Plus we also have a wide variety of side characters from both Kestrel and Arin that while being extremely different was never confusing. This is a very plot driven book, and I think Rutkoski did an amazing job with it.
I now get why this book was so hyped up and I can't wait to read the next two books in the series and see what happens next to Kestrel and Arin!
“Isn't that what stories do, make real things fake, and fake things real?”