Date Released: January 10th 2013
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Date Read: December 31st, 2012
Salvation is Anne Osterlund's first Contemporary YA novel, and for it being her debut in the genre I think it is excellent. First, I was really impressed with how Osterlund really captured the pressure and struggles many Mexican families have to go through. Being a Mexican myself, I found it incredibly easy to sympathize with Salvador, and I really think that everyone will be able to relate to him.
Salvador is a really smart boy, he has done everything that was expected of him. He is the golden boy, he has fulfilled his father's wishes, has never let down his friends and has always followed the rules. He's a good boy. This is where Beth comes in, the walking disaster. I had this idea that Beth wold be this wild girl that throws Salva off balance or something, but no, turns out she's literally a disaster. Walks-and-trips, drops-everything, can't-paint-without-making-a-mess sort of disaster. She thinks Salva can be more than good, that he has much much more to offer. She helps Salva discover the biggest wish of all - his own.
Salva's father only wants the best for him and his family, which is why they brought them all to the States. The next step, if for Salva to actually be someone, not just an ordinary Mexican worker, to look down at and to treat as less. Again, Osterlund surprised me here, this is what we strive for, this is defined as our success. At least in my city and with my peers it is, we all want jobs in the States, it is the biggest goal of some of us, which is sad and something that is also marked in the novel, staying in Mexico or going back is not an option, it's a step backward. It was so easy to understand Salva's father, no matter how uptight he seemed, and it was easy to understand Salva as well, his own desperation and decisions he makes toward the end of the book, how he finds his own voice despite everything else.
Beth was also a great character, she knew how much someone or something had to offer and she didn't expect any less. It almost felt like she was that little voice in the back of our minds telling us to push forward and I really wished I was more like Beth, who honestly had every reason to be disappointed in life, and yet, she kept pushing.
I really liked Salvation, the ending was great, it had my heart pounding and just wondering 'How is this going to have a happy ending?!!! in fact how will this end at all?!!" I thought there was even a sequel I didn't know about, but no worries, it is wrapped up perfectly well. It was a great story and all of the characters will stick with me for a long time, especially Salva and Beth :)
Interview with the author
1. In between writing and reading, what do you like to do?
Watch figure skating, spoil a certain fluffy orange cat, and indulge in chocolate chip mint ice cream.
2. Describe Salvation Twitter style. 140 characters or less. GO!
A YA contemporary novel about Salva, a young man who doesn’t want to be everyone’s salvation, and Beth, the walking disaster area.
3. I think we've all felt at some point in our lives like the weight of the world is on our shoulders and that we have to please the needs of our parents or friends, which made Salva a really relatable character. So what was the process of creating him as a character?
I don’t think I exactly create my characters. It’s more a process of listening. Salva didn’t bother to introduce himself the first time we met. He was busy colliding with Beth and telling me how she was a walking disaster area. Then Pepe, Salva’s best friend, shoved him into the prologue. At which point I realized I had a story. Because Salva was conflicted, brilliant, and not quite comfortable at the center of the spotlight. I had written about a scene and a half when I realized that his major flaw was the fact that he allowed his friends to direct his inner compass. And I had written a full 160 pages before I realized he wasn’t telling me that his mother was dead. (Talk about denial). It took two-thirds of the second draft before I found out how stubborn he was. And by that point, of course, there was no turning back!
4. How do the characters from you earlier novels—Academy 7, Aurelia, and Exile—feel about Salvation?
My other main characters—Aerin, Dane, Aurelia, and Robert—are very supportive of Salva and Beth. First, because we are all a team. And second because my other characters have free rein to raid the cupboards for chocolate while Salva, Beth, and I are on tour.
5. Tell us something at random.
In addition to celebrating Salvation’s release, I spent this week teaching kindergarten, ESL, and special ed.
6. And now, between You and Me, what’s in store for the future?
My current New Year’s resolution is to finish Redemption. Aurelia, the heroine of Aurelia and Exile, demands that I wrap up her third and final novel. She’s dying to tell you all about it, but she knows this is Salva and Beth’s moment so she is very patiently—for Aurelia—biting her tongue. Though, as a tradeoff for such good behavior, I did post one blog about Redemption here.
Thank you, Jude, for hosting Salva, Beth, and I on our tour! You and your visitors are all welcome to come visit us any time on:
Our website: www.anneosterlund.com
Our blog: www.anneosterlund.blogspot.com
And the other stops on our SALVATION Blog Tour:
*Thank you for letting me be a part of the tour :D *