Monday, 16 July 2012

Book Review: Never Fall Down By Patricia McCormick plus GIVEAWAY

Name: Never Fall Down
Author: Patricia McCormick
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2nd August 2012

Summary: When soldiers arrive at his hometown in Cambodia, Arn is just a kid, dancing to rock 'n' roll, hustling for spare change, and selling ice cream with his brother. But after the soldiers march the entire population into the countryside, his life is changed forever. Arn is separated from his family and assigned to a labor camp: working in the rice paddies under a blazing sun, he sees the other children, weak from hunger, malaria, or sheer exhaustion, dying before his eyes. He sees prisoners marched to a nearby mango grove, never to return. And he learns to be invisible to the sadistic Khmer Rouge, who can give or take away life on a whim. 

One day, the soldiers ask if any of the kids can play an instrument. Arn's never played a note in his life, but he volunteers. In order to survive, he must quickly master the strange revolutionary songs the soldiers demand - and steal food to keep the other kids alive. This decision will save his life, but it will pull him into the very center of what we know today as the Killing Fields. And just as the country is about to be liberated from the Khmer Rouge, Arn is handed a gun and forced to become a soldier. He lives by the simple credo: Over and over I tell myself one thing: never fall down. 
Based on the true story of Arn Chorn-Pond, this is an achingly raw and powerful novel about a child of war who becomes a man of peace, from National Book Award finalist Patricia McCormick.


Review: Now when I attended a blogger brunch at Random House they spoke about 'Never Fall Down'.
Sitting in that room I was thinking woah this is going to be one hell of a rollercoaster ride, but one I know I'm going to want to read.
Not even two chapters in and I'm feeling such intense emotion towards Arn, his family and his way of life and that sure as hell wasn't the worst of it.
Arn is 11 years old and he's looking out for his family. At 11 I would never have had the strength he's shown. He's brave, naïve and very strong.
This novel is heartbreaking, yet compelling. You're appalled and saddened by what you're reading but you just can't help continuing with Arn's story. You could probably finish this novel in a day but due to the emotion you will have to space it out, as it's just too hard to read.
Losing a love one is hard at any age, but being so young and seeing so much pain and losing so many close friends and family it's just devastating.
It's saddening seeing how Arn and his family must survive and that is all he is doing with his childhood surviving.
NO one should have to drink urine because they're that thirsty.
This novel has you on the edge of your seat and all you want is for Arn to reunite with his family and survive these chilling refugee camps. It really made me think, stuff like this really happens and it still happens. The saddest thing is that it does still happen.
This quote stuck out for me and summed up Arn's life. "All the time you fighting, you think only of how to survive. All the time you survive, you wonder why you don't die....Now, in America, I don't have to fight. I don't have to survive. I can chose a new thing: to live."
I love that Patricia has added a note from the author, it's heartbreaking to know that Arn Chorn Pond's distressing story of survival is a true story.
This novel will make you appreciate what you have and it will make you realise just how lucky you are.
I enjoyed this book on a very emotional level so I would like to pass my arc on to one of our fab followers so please leave a comment stating why you would love to have my arc. As always please leave us your name and email address so the winner can be contacted.




2 comments:

mary ann(RunOnce828) said...

I think this book will give readers an inspirational perception about life. Thanks for reviewing the book and leave it spoiler free! :DD I hope to read this one and have my thoughts on it too. :)

mary ann-maryanngacayan at yahoo dot com

Na said...

I really want to read this. It's a heartbreaking story and even more interesting is that the events were real for many.

Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

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