Monday, October 3, 2011

ARC Book Review: The Sharp Time

Author: Mary O'Connell
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: November 8, 2011
Pages: 240
Read it in: 3 days
Source: ARC provided by the author

Summary: Sandinista Jones is a high school senior with a punk rock name and a broken heart. The death of her single mother has left Sandinista alone in the world, subject to the random vulnerability of everyday life. When the school system lets her down, her grief and instability intensify, and she ponders a violent act of revenge.

Still, in the midst of her crisis, she gets a job at The Pale Circus, a funky vintage clothing shop, and finds friendship and camaraderie with her coworker, a boy struggling with his own secrets.

Even as Sandinista sees the failures of those with power and authority, she's offered the chance to survive through the redemptive power of friendship. Now she must choose between faith and forgiveness or violence and vengeance.

LC's Take:

OMGosh. This book has left me pretty much speechless. Like, I don't even know where to begin with how beautifully haunting this book was...

For me, the thing that stood out about The Sharp Time from almost every other YA book I've read was that the writing was so incredibly intelligent and just-- beautiful. Like I'm talking, jaw-droppingly, hauntingly, can't even believe it, beautiful. The whole time I was reading, I was totally mesmerized and just wanted to savor every word. It was like reading poetry in prose. So yeah-- the writing? Amazing-- AND it was funny! The part at the erotic cake store-- yeah, you heard me. I was dying. (Hahaha, now I know you're going to buy this book when it comes out!)

Sandinista is 18 years old, a senior in high-school. Her mother has recently died in a car accident and now she is basically alone in the world. After a horrible incident at school involving an abusive teacher, Sandinista is consumed by hatred and bitterness towards what the world has thrown at her. Luckily, she has her job at The Pale Circus, an off-beat vintage clothing store, where she meets Bradley, a boy who has his own secrets and troubles. Together, they learn to cope with the darker things in life, and find beauty in a broken world.

Sandinista's narrative was just incredible-- she was so real, so introspective, and her way of telling things the way they are was both jarring and poetic. She was witty, snarky, and extremely genuine-- she is definitely not a character you will forget! Her observations had me in a continual trance throughout the entire book-- like how could anyone be that insightful about the world and make me feel the exact same way about what she's experiencing?

Alright-- I have decided that I have to stick some quotes in this review, you just need to see what I'm talking about with this writing!

"The carmine-red flats on her high-arched feet give me the rainbow-confetti feeling of a happy ending." ~p.8

"So maybe my own life is not so drastic and dreadful... maybe I am just like all those other girls who have come before me with their oily T-zones and random terrible days and bittersweet triumphs, the world billowing out behind them." ~p.17-18

"Well. Arne cares. It's weird, to be sure, but he just met me and he cares. I see this; I see he is not from the school of smiling bleached-teeth bull****." ~p.46

"'Oh, well, absolutely I am a tattooed Catholic fancy pants. And that would not be a bad name for a blog: the Catholic Fancy Pants.'" ~p.82

"O the embittered drama of last summer now seems swathed in cotton candy, lit by pink and lavender incandescent bulbs. Had I known what the future held, I would have cherished the innocence of smashed romance and written odes celebrating my generic teenage heartache." ~p.87

Yeah. I KNOW. The WHOLE BOOK is like this-- one lyrical sentence after another, that basically had my head reeling with how brilliant and heartfelt it all was. I can't even-- **sigh.** No words. I freaking loved this book. Honestly, this is just one of those books that you have to read for yourself and experience-- I promise you, this is one novel you will not regret reading!

LC's Rating:
Raw and uncensored, The Sharp Time tells a redemptive story about finding beauty in a broken world. All I can say is: Read this as soon as you can!!


  1. Awesome review! It's on my Goodreads list now...I can't wait to get it when it comes out. And I love the main character's name!

  2. Oh wow this sounds awesome! I love beautiful writing and it's not incredibly common in YA novels. Great review!

    Xpresso Reads

  3. I haven't heard of this one, but the cover is awesome. It sounds really raw, maybe some dark humor I guess. I'll definitely be checking it out :) Awesome review!

  4. This sounds so good! I'll definitely look for it when it comes out. Great review!

  5. Awesome review! This is the first I've heard of The Sharp Time, and it is now at the top of my TBR list. I love the quotes you shared, and yes, the erotic cake store is incredibly intriguing. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of this!

  6. Great review - I read this over the weekend and fully agree. I was just in awe of this book. I could not put it down yet I did not want to finish. It was so different. Loved it. Loved Sandinista and Bradley too. Just a great book and your review is awesome. Hope I can do it justice in my review as well.


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