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Review: We Are Savages by Jessie Atkin

Friday, November 02, 2012 § 1 Comment

Title: We Are Savages
Author: Jessie Atkin
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure
Publisher: Brady and Dustin Publishing
Release date: July, 2012
ISBN-13: 9780985832902
Format: eBook
Source: Author
We Are Savages is the story of 12 year old Tris and what she finds when she runs from the responsibility of her household and descends through a rain grate into the child run world of Nowhere. "You go to bed angry or sad enough you can wake up just about anywhere," the Savages tell her. It is a brick utopia hidden in the sewers; made up of sweets, sports, hammocks, and fireflies. But even this haven, free of parents and protocol, is not everything it seems. Haunted by dark specters known only as Phocydes, feared for their reputation of consuming children whole, Tris works both to hunt and to hide from these hooded shadows. But something about them is familiar; something about them fires her curiosity more than her fear. And Tris slowly begins to realize that, no matter where you go, fear and responsibility are not things you can escape, the only thing to do is face them.

My Review:
This is the story of Tris Simon, a 12-year-old girl who would rather play with her army figures and read Harry Potter than wear dresses and be the young lady that her mother wants her to be. With her best friend and dog, Mars, by her side, she runs away after an unfortunate incident at home and finds herself whisked away to a strange land where there are no adults -- just lost kids like her. Here, she learns more about the effects of running away from your problems and faces much more than she had ever bargained for.Although it took me a while to get into during its initial chapters, I immediately took a liking to the protagonist, Tris Simon. She was a very realistic and relateable character in that, within the first few chapters, it was already apparent that she would be a character I'd love through the entire story -- I was right. She never wanted to be anything but herself, though her parents, her mother especially, would have preferred her to be the "young lady" that was supposedly deemed socially acceptable at her age. Even upon leaving her home and everything familiar to her, she remained in control of who she was and rose to the ocassion when called upon. She never changed for anything or anyone, which is an admirable trait for younger kids on the brink of adolescence these days.

The secondary characters that Atkin introduced were just as likeable. There was a very diverse group of kids in Nowhere, from the loveable and smart Declan, to the tough and resilient Aya, and the mysteriously charming Logan. Tris quickly formed relationships with all of these people and together, they faced even the most terrifying of events, discovering things about themselves that they would never have done in civilization. There's something here for everyone; if the reader doesn't see themselves in Tris, they might just find them in any one of these characters.

We Are Savages is very Alice in Wonderland meets Peter Pan, two of my favourite stories as a child. The land that Tris (literally) falls into is called Nowhere, an underground place where kids run the entire show; no parents, no chores -- just games, fun, and each other. Reading about the land from Tris' point of view just added that extra touch of thrilling adventure, and what she goes through in Nowhere is a hundred times more action than playing with her army men at home.

This is such a fun and refreshing read for anyone 10-years-old and above. I especially think this would be a great addition to a school library and I'd definitely recommend it to teachers to share with their young students. I loved the action and adventure scenes and loved that it touched on real issues that kids and preteens actually go through. The underlying overall message was about how you can't hide from your responsibilities and that you need to accept them. We Are Savages is a very lovely, light coming-of-age story that I'm glad I had the opportunity to read.

Thank you to Jessie Atkin for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:

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