Saturday, May 21, 2011

Like Mandarin

Author: Kirsten Hubbard
 Rating: 5/5 Stars
It's hard finding beauty in the badlands of Washokey, Wyoming, but 14-year-old Grace Carpenter knows it's not her mother's pageant obsessions, or the cowboy dances adored by her small-town classmates. True beauty is wild-girl Mandarin Ramey: 17, shameless and utterly carefree. Grace would give anything to be like Mandarin. When they're united for a project, they form an unlikely, explosive friendship, packed with nights spent skinny-dipping in the canal, liberating the town's animal-head trophies, and searching for someplace magic. Grace plays along when Mandarin suggests they run away together. Blame it on the crazy-making wildwinds plaguing their Badlands town. Because all too soon, Grace discovers Mandarin's unique beauty hides a girl who's troubled, broken, and even dangerous. And no matter how hard Grace fights to keep the magic, no friendship can withstand betrayal. (From

I wasn't really expecting much from this book because I hadn't heard anything on it before and I've never heard of the author. But surprisingly, I really loved this book. It was set in the badlands of Wyoming, and it was the exact opposite of the part of Wyoming the characters were in in the book Unearthly. Everything was plain and dry and windy. It really reminded me of the town where the book The Anatomy of Wings takes place. Actually, pretty much everything about this book reminds me of The Anatomy of Wings. Beth, the character in The Anatomy of Wings who is the older sister who does drugs and sleeps around is like the exact same person as Mandarin. Mandarin is also older than the main character in this book, and she also smokes and sleeps around with older men. The book also had a really surreal feel to it, like I was seeing the characters through a dream or a fairy tale. The lighting of the picture on the cover completely covers the whole feel. Also like TAOW there is so much symbolism and metaphors in this book. The main character, Grace, also grows and matures during the novel. I really like to watch her grow and connect it with the other parts of the plot that went along with her growth.
      If you liked TAOW or just want a good read, you should pick up Like Mandarin. It's pretty much for everyone. I know some people don't like paranormal or romance novels, and if you are one of those people then you will really like this book.

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