Author: Emily Mah Tippetts
Publish Date: August 2012
Source: I received a copy from the author; however, this did not affect my review.
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a Young Adult fiction fan.
From Goodreads.com: "Madison Lukas knows her place in the world. She’s not pretty, not interesting, and therefore easy to forget.
John Britton is serving his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and has been praying for fifteen years to find the sister he lost in his parents’ divorce. She is beautiful, talented, and makes kindness a fine art.
When John and Madison cross paths, he recognizes her at once, but Madison is certain that he’s got it all wrong. Even if she is his long-lost sister, she can’t possibly be the exceptional, amazing girl he thinks she is, can she?"
My Two Cents:
Castles on the Sand was sort of a mixed bag for me. I was definitely a little bit conflicted about what to rate this book. First off, it took me awhile to get into the book as I had a hard time connecting with any of the characters until the second half. Once the book hit its stride, it was much, much easier for me to get into.
This book deals with a lot of different topics and some of them are very important. All of the topics are of concern for many teenagers. Topics of appearance, family, relationships, and friends are all present here. I think the most important topic in this is the topic of mental illness. Tippetts did a really good job of painting a sympathetic picture of Alex and his mom. I think this can be a really difficult topic to tackle, especially in YA fiction. Tippetts makes you really feel for these characters and what they are going through and how they are trying to survive as a family. I really thought this was one of the best parts of the book!
There were a lot of plot holes that I wish had been filled in. First off, why does John only find where his mom and Madison are now? Madison is already a teenager meaning that there was a lot of time to pass before John just happened upon them while doing his missionary work. Also, I understand that John really cares about Madison because she is his sister but found it bordering on creepy about how quickly he warms back up to her and starts calling her beautiful all. the. time. Also, why is Madison's mom still so mad if it had been so many years? This was never really explained but she's sort of a sour grape throughout the entire book.
There is a religious (specifically Mormon) tilt to this book so depending on your feelings, that may not be everyone's cup of tea.
Bottom line: Overall, I enjoyed the writing but this story was definitely not my favorite.