Published by Clean Teen Publishing on February 29th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Historical, Retellings
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"What if Peter Pan was a homeless kid just trying to survive, and Wendy flew away for a really good reason?"
Seventeen-year-old Kettle has had his share of adversity. As an orphaned Japanese American struggling to make a life in the aftermath of an event in history not often referred to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the removal of children from orphanages for having "one drop of Japanese blood in them" things are finally looking up. He has his hideout in an abandoned subway tunnel, a job, and his gang of Lost Boys.
Desperate to run away, the world outside her oppressive brownstone calls to naive, eighteen-year-old Nora the privileged daughter of a controlling and violent civil rights lawyer who is building a compensation case for the interned Japanese Americans. But she is trapped, enduring abuse to protect her younger sister Frankie and wishing on the stars every night for things to change.
For months, they've lived side by side, their paths crossing yet never meeting. But when Nora is nearly killed and her sister taken away, their worlds collide as Kettle, grief stricken at the loss of a friend, angrily pulls Nora from her window.
In her honeyed eyes, Kettle sees sadness and suffering. In his, Nora sees the chance to take to the window and fly away.
Set in 1953, Nora & Kettle explores the collision of two teenagers facing extraordinary hardship. Their meeting is inevitable, devastating, and ultimately healing. Their stories, "a collection of events, are each on their own harmless. But together, one after the other, they change the world."
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Here’s the thing: Historical fictions aren’t my thing. I rarely read anything that has got to do with historical fiction. But I came across this book, and I got intrigued by the title. Nora and Kettle. What kind of guy has Kettle as his name? Though, I do have to admit that I kinda skimmed the summary, and hence, all I know was that this book was set after World War 2, and that Nora and Kettle will meet.
The introduction did not prepare me for what was coming. I was sucker-punched. I just stared at my Kindle the moment I finish reading that first chapter. Nora and Kettle was supposed to be a retelling of Peter Pan, and for the first time in my life, I was so happy that Wendy Darling flew away with Peter Pan. This is the kind of book that is bound to break your heart and squeeze million of tears out of you, but at the same time, the ending will give you that sense of satisfaction at knowing that it will be okay eventually.
Nora surprised me at the start. I did not expect her to be so strong and willful. She was the main character of this book, and damn, her story will make you cry buckets of tears for her, while at the same time, cheer her on. She completely annihilated the whole stereotype about how rich people have it easy. Her life was hell, and hell is probably a freaking understatement. And that first chapter made me look up in horror, because oh my God, she has no more shield, and I just wanted to save her, save Frankie, and bring them all out of that home. The one thing that made me love Nora was her love for Frankie. She would do anything for her little sister, who went through a whole lot of crap too. I mean, DAMN. My heart broke at all Nora’s pages.
Kettle had his own fair share of heartbreaking story too, and it took me awhile to figure out that he was Japanese-American, which REALLY sucked, because you have to remember that it was after WW2, and Japanese were being feared and hated on. And it figures that Kettle was homeless, and he had his own set of Lost Boys. Kettle’s life wasn’t all beds of roses either, and it warms my heart to see how he took care of each kid like his own sibling, how he had to make the hardest decisions of giving them up when they became sick or injured, and how no matter how horrible it was that they had to stay in a Subway tunnel, he never once told the kids to steal stuffs. He would rather work hard for them.
It actually took awhile for Kettle and Nora to meet, but their paths constantly crossed that you’ll be wishing so badly that they would just meet each other, so that they can finally save each other. And this isn’t your typical love story. Actually, I don’t really think this is even a love story. It’s basically two teens who managed to save each other, and it was really heartbreaking and heart warming at the same time. This is THE book that most people, if not everyone, should read because it actually shows us a whole new meaning to understanding POC and also the stuffs that go on behind closed doors.