Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Review: Alaska, Sue Saliba

With an alcoholic mother, an absent father and a sister thousands of miles away, there's little wonder that Mia enjoys escaping--into daydreams, imaginings. She's about to make her biggest escape of all, leaving school before year 12 is over and moving halfway round the world to be with her sister, Em, in Alaska. Here she meets Ethan, and it's easy to wind her dreams and imaginings around him, and lose herself in the beautiful landscape that is the Alaskan forest.

Alaska is an unusual pick for me. Mia isn't secretly a witch. Ethan is not a ghost. Alaska isn't in the grip of a zombiepocalypse. It's a calm book. A quiet book, like a forest under snow. This doesn't mean Mia is reserved or unemotional, but there's a faraway quality to her. There are no capital letters in Alaska, reinforcing that we must be very quiet it's all under snow shhhh...

Alaska is gorgeously packaged, and has little illustrations throughout. The wintry themes were a perfect accompaniment to the glum Melbourne weather, a reminder that winter isn't always a frigid, gloomy place--not everywhere at least.

I finished this book with a lump in my throat. It might not thunder and crash about like the books I normally read, but it's incredibly sweet and soft. A story about following your heart, wherever it leads.


  1. Lovely review, Rhiannon. Alaska doesn't sound like my usual read either but your review persuaded me and I think I should check out this book.

  2. i really like this review.

    you have captured the mood perfectly <3