Sunday, January 02, 2011

For The Love of Stranger, by Jacqueline Horsfall

Philoxenia- a Greek word meaning "love of strangers." Love is exactly what Philoxenia House- a house for women who need to hide from abusive husbands- shows to the strangers it takes in. Darya and Nikki are two children adopted by Tee-tee, the head of Philoxenia house, from Russia many years ago. Told from the point of view of Darya as she struggles with feelings of abandonment and being an adopted child, this story deals with the mundane as well as the fantastic, for little does Darya know that she is born to fulfill an ancient prophecy. As more and more deer are being culled and hunted, she is destined to protect them. Along with Rawley, a boy from the Virgin Islands, she must face an entire town bent on hunting these deer. Will you heed the call?

Personally, while I felt the book had believable characters and I liked the storyline behind and around Philoxenia House, the anti-hunting propaganda that littered this book was a major turn-off, and I had a hard time looking past it. I also wasn't too pleased with the overly feminist undertones of a horned deer goddess. However, looking past the obvious propaganda, the book wasn't poorly written. It was a simple and quick read that dealt with some heavy stuff, such as adoptive families, domestic violence, and feelings of inferiority. Being told from Darya's point of view, you experience some of the feelings of betrayal and neglect that she feels, and can easily relate to her problems. Overall, I give this book a 5/10 rating, and recommend it for readers ages 12 and up.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Sykesville, Maryland United States