Monday, September 07, 2009
A Map of the Known World, by Lisa Ann Sandell
After Cora's brother is killed in a car accident, Cora finds her relationships with others changing (her dad has withdrawn, her Mom has grown clingy, and her best friend seems so shallow now). When Cora discovers her brother's secret art studio, she becomes obsessed with bringing his artwork to the public eye. Her own artistic talents bring her attention from the art teacher who suggests that she apply for an art scholarship in London (much to her mother's horror). Trying to piece all of this together, she creates a map of her known world to describe the new complexities of her life.
This is well-written, but the storyline is so well-worn (dead brother? please!) with all the usual tropes (unfair parents, sneaking around, etc.) that the ending should surprise no one. If you haven't read a YA-death book yet, this is a nice one to start with. If you've already had your fill, this one doesn't really cover new ground.