1 out of 4 stars
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Kate attends ParceHollow Academy, where she's trying to master her power of lightning. She wins a tournament in archery, but she isn't excelling like she (or the teachers) would like. Her coach wants her to go to another school to learn; she doesn't want to leave her friends and her father. Will she master her skills without having to change schools or will she be forced to leave all she knows?
Kate Strike: The Girl Who Got It All by Saramah Hossain is a young adult science fiction story told in the first person. There is no violence or adult content; therefore, the story would be appropriate for teenagers. The book is short and could easily be read in one sitting by advanced readers.
The story is about friendship. Themes of relying on yourself and doing your best come through in the novel, which would present great teaching moments for young adults. The writing style is simplistic without difficult vocabulary, and I think it would be most suitable for middle school children.
Though I enjoyed the premise of the book, the story seemed too short; it was lacking in details that were necessary in order to immerse oneself in the world of the book. For example, not much background is given on the academy and Kate's life there. Also, Kate mentions a tournament at the school, but she doesn't tell us what it includes or the purpose. Thus, the world building was incomplete, and I found myself with questions. Even if the book is meant for a younger audience, there should be no unanswered questions.
Along the same lines, there are holes in the plot that aren't discussed. One of the characters has an incident in practicing a difficult spell. We never learn what happened nor how she fared (as she wasn't doing well at one point). The ending is left open for a possible sequel, but it should have been covered in this story.
The editing in the novel needs work. There were prepositions missing often and incorrect words used (e.g. "out" instead of "our"). In the dialogue, a new speaker wasn't always indicated by a new line. It made the reading harder than it should have been because I had to work out what was being said. From the grammar and syntax, it seemed the author was not a native English speaker. For example, the author states: "I stopped laughing but tried to contain again from not happening at Heather's annoyance." This interrupted the story and made it harder to read. Similarly, the dialogue was stiff at times. It didn't seem natural or realistic, even if you disregard the errors.
The book has promise, especially as more of an older children's story. It still, however, needs work. Because of this, I rate Kate Strike: The Girl Who Got It All 1 out of 4 stars. The editing and plot holes are the biggest drawbacks and keep me from recommending this in its current form. This author is one to follow, though, and I'm looking forward to seeing how she progresses.
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