Today is my stop for my review on Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz. I was so happy I got the chance to be a part of this blog tour. Thanks to Kate ( The Backwards Bookshelf ) for having me!
An uplifting middle-grade debut about perseverance against all odds, Marie Miranda Cruz’s debut Everlasting Nora follows the story of a young girl living in the real-life shanty town inside the Philippines’ North Manila Cemetery.
After a family tragedy results in the loss of both father and home, 12-year-old Nora lives with her mother in Manila’s North Cemetery, which is the largest shanty town of its kind in the Philippines today.
When her mother disappears mysteriously one day, Nora is left alone.
With help from her best friend Jojo and the support of his kindhearted grandmother, Nora embarks on a journey riddled with danger in order to find her mom. Along the way she also rediscovers the compassion of the human spirit, the resilience of her community, and everlasting hope in the most unexpected places.
«about the author»
Violence, child abuse, classicism, extreme poverty/ hunger, kidnapping, descriptions of blood and other serious injuries
«title» Everlasting Nora
«author» Marie Miranda Cruz
«publication date» October 2, 2018
«genre» Children’s/MG, Realistic Fiction
«rating» 5/5 stars
Everlasting Nora is an easily-lovable novel with over the top adorable characters. This novel follows the story of Nora, a twelve-year old girl, whose life had turned upside-down due to unfortunate circumstances. Forced to live among the dead, she struggles with the loss of comfort of her old life, the sudden disappearance of her mother and making ends meet. With life weighing down on her, she learns to fight, persevere, endure, and trust people who are in deep in helping her. Throughout the book, we see Nora from a closed-off, serious and unattached to her dwelling to a girl who slowly accepts help from the people around her.
Nora is a brilliant character. She’s bold, resilient and a dreamer. She is that type of character who goes through much and you just want all the great things given to her and end all her sufferings. Her love for her mother is heartwarming. One of the things I admired, is how she had the ability to point out her mother’s faults and loopholes but still love the woman nonetheless. She could do everything, even put herself in danger just to put her loved ones out of it. The times she’d hold on to every thing or material she could cling on to when faced in a dire situation, the unrelenting hopefulness oozing out every time, is very inspirational. And a common Filipino trait at that.
I may not have related to Nora in a personal sense, however I connected with her. Cruz had written Nora in way that made me sympathize with her, cried with her, felt miserable with her, felt hopeless with her and felt happy with her.
On the other hand, Jojo, a friend and cemetery fellow resident, is just as adorable. I loved how he deeply cared for Nora in the entirety of book. He is cheerful, positive and hardworking kid I wish him all the wellness in the world. Whenever he enters the scene, I can’t stop myself from smiling because he exudes such light aura. My heart is just so full with Nora and Jojo’s friendship. These two, I would cherish for the rest of my life.
I also loved the other characters (Lola Mercy, Kuya Efren, Mang Rudy, little Ernie). In this book had I only understood camaraderie and cooperation so much. I have used the said words a lot of times in a lot of my academic papers but never had I had a deep sense of comprehension on them. It is also common here in the Philippines, people reaching and helping each other out, that is. I just unfortunately resided on a not so friendly neighborhood that the concept took me by surprise. It felt unfamiliar and familiar at the same time.
This book had not lacked in the suspense area. It had been my favorite part of the entire prose. It was written so well, it kept me on my toes and constantly rooting for the main characters!
Another upside is the simplistic writing. It had been so easy to read and get yourself immersed in the story. Effective writing means so much in a story and a character like Nora needs a really good one, which Cruz had not disappointed in giving us. As the story goes, we see pieces of information about what had Nora’s life been and why had it turned that way. Now, I know some readers hate it when there are flashbacks in between pages because I am one of that readers. But worry not, in here, it had worked so well! Trust me, it’s so good. This book tackled and wrote about sensitive and controversial topics with so much ease and a good premise, I was left in awe. I loved the way it had highlighted and valued education amongst the poor community. It provided a holistic knowledge and understanding that many people had missed out on about poverty, that poor people had to work twice as hard and never get as much as they deserve. I just hope many people would make time to read this to make the notion that “poor people are just lazy” vanish forever.
Finally, this book sated my Filipino heart! I breathed every single page of the book. I’m almost certain that anyone within a hearing distance could hear my “omg’s” and “aws” the whole time I was reading it. I was delighted every time I encounter Filipino words (Salamat, Kumusta?, Walang anuman, Hoy etc), Filipino food (suman, dinuguan, puto, biko) and Filipino traditions and beliefs (All Souls’ Day, fortieth-day anniversary of the dead, prohibition on pointing fingers on anything lol). This book moved me. This is the first book authored by a Filipino and written strongly and based on Filipino culture, it is overwhelming me with joy. I wish we had this sooner! I wish we’ll have more books like this, continuously! The feeling is monumental when you finally get to be reflected in a book. With that, I am so thankful to Marie Miranda Cruz for writing this book! Eventhough, intended for young readers, this book fit right in any age spectrum in my opinion. I highly, highly recommend this book.
«edits from yours truly»
I invite you all to join our Twitter chat on December 16 at 9:00PM PHT (GMT+8)!
Follow through the reviews and thoughts of my fellow blog tour participants!
- Tour launch
- Review, fanart, and quote graphics from Divine (Vinedicated)
- Review and feature post from Erica (Living a Hundred Lives)
- Review from Rose (Rose Books Blog)
- Review from Justine (Bookish Wisps)
- Review and moodboard / aesthetics from JM (The Book Freak Revelations)
- Review from Karlita (Tale Out Loud)
- Review and feature post from Zia (Accio Blog)
- Review and moodboard /aesthetics from Cathrina (Chasing Words and pages)
- Review, book photoshoot, and feature post from Joel (Descendant of Poseidon)
- Review, moodboard / aesthetics, playlists, and quote graphics from Hafsa (Petal Hugs)
- Review from Jennifer (Jen D Bibliophile)
- Review, fanart, and quotegraphics from Nessa (Utopian Pages)
- Review, moodboard / aesthetics, quote graphics, and downloadable bookmarks from Bianca (The Ultimate Fangirl)
- Review, playlists, and quote graphics from Hana (The Wraith Reads)
- Review and moodboard / aesthetics from Aki (Aki Through Books)
- Review and quote graphics from Cara (Little Miss Bookworm)
- Review from Samantha (All My Fictional Children)
- Review and feature post from Kester (Lil Book Lovers)
- Review from Gel (Whimsy Wanders)
- Review from Mica (The Girl on Track)
- Review from Shealea (That Bookshelf Bitch)
- Review and author interview from Kate (The Backwards Bookshelf)