Portia’s Recommendation this Week:IMMORTAL BELOVED by Cate Tiernan
I'm not sure if I'm allowed to review ARCs, but I'm going to take a chance here and try. Immortal Beloved was one of the books Cynthia gave us to try in the numerous stacks that made their way home with us. The blurb on the back really sucked me in, you know? Who wouldn't want to read about an immortal spoiled party girl who feels guilty and goes good? Anyone really. :)
Immortal Beloved is about an immortal girl, Nastasya (Nasty to her friends) who's on the fast track to a life with no meaning. More accurately - she's been on that path for over a century, is nowhere near getting off it, and her life has no meaning. She and her group of friends, drink, party, steal, shop, travel on a whim, rent crazy expensive apartments, and do whatever they fancy doing be it racing normal teenagers down a mountain, going to 10 different clubs in one night, jetting off on a moment’s notice to China or India or the US.......basically anything that doesn't require responsibility.
When Nastasya watches her friend break the spine of an innocent (but annoyed) cab driver with black magic, she feel so sick about not knowing her friends as well as she thought, and walking away from that cabbie to go party some more when she knows he will be paralyzed for life or maybe even die. Convinced that she's not normal, that something must change, she runs away without notice and seeks refuge at River's Edge-- the house of a woman in nowhere, Massachusetts who she met in France a hundred or so years back.
While at River's, without her friend’s influence surrounding her, Nastasya can try to reinvent herself and heal from the memories of horrible past, while embracing the magic within her. She must deal with jealous roommates, a Viking god, teachers that may be a bit too understanding, a boring job working with a girl scared senseless by her dad, boring clothes, early morning chores, crazy spring cleaning, and the thought of her friend somewhere, trying to hunt her down.....
Through it all, Nastasya continues to be at peace with herself, what happened to her family as a child, the life she's led for the last century, and what she wants from herself and from her experience at River's.
This book was really really really good! I know that sometimes books about immortals can be a bit....all the same. But I found that Cate's idea was something totally new! I liked that the girl got to be immortal for once. I liked that she didn't have to drink blood or anything to stay that way. I liked that she included personal growth for Nastasya in the book. That Nastasya could grow over the course of the book, and that all her life experiences came into play. I liked that she would bring in flashbacks of Nasty's past. It was amazing to see back that far to a place in Nasty's mind and hear what happened from a first-person witness--almost like you were there yourself. I think it was beautifully written and I encourage everyone to read Immortal Beloved - it came out just a couple of weeks ago!
On this date: In 1972, Mac Davis hit number one with the single "Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me". (Earworm anyone?)