Lisa Ann Sandell
Published April 2009
Cora Bradley dreams of escape. Ever since her reckless older brother, Nate, died in a car crash, Cora has felt suffocated by her small town and high school. She seeks solace in drawing beautiful maps, envisioning herself in exotic locales. When Cora begins to fall for Damian, the handsome, brooding boy who was in the car with Nate the night he died, she uncovers her brother's secret artistic life and realizes she had more in common with him than she ever imagined. With stunning lyricism, Sandell weaves a tale of one girl's journey through the redemptive powers of art, friendship, and love. They say no land remains to be discovered, no continent is left unexplored. But the whole world is out there, waiting, just waiting for me. I want to do things-I want to walk the rain-soaked streets of London, and drink mint tea in Casablanca. I want to wander the wastelands of the Gobi desert and see a yak. I think my life's ambition is to see a yak. I want to bargain for trinkets in an Arab market in some distant, dusty land. There's so much. But, most of all, I want to do things that will mean something.-- From A MAP OF THE KNOWN WORLD.
A Map of the Known World was a very short, cute and inspirational read. I loved the whole feel about the book and enjoyed every minute of reading it. The plot was very creative, rich and intricate and kept me interested in what would happen throughout the book. It's a story about moving on and dreaming big; of never giving up on what you want.
I really loved Cora. I felt that she had a very promising future and a miserable past, which makes her a very interesting and captivating character. She was very strong and inspiring while trying to get over the death of her brother and the love she feels for his best friend, Damian. AND dealing with teenage issues like best friends and strict parents. I also loved reading about Cora and Damian's relationship grow throughout the story.
There were few bad things about the book but I did feel like the whole high school "group" thing was a bit overdone. It's not usually how it actually is in high school. The book didn't exceed my expectations but I wasn't disappointed either. Recommended? Sure! Read it when you have the time. I enjoyed Lisa's other novel, Song of the Sparrow (which I also reviewed), a lot more though.