This novel took my breath away; a magnificent piece. The story layers, much like the colors and shades of a painting. Emily X.R. Pan is truly a gifted artist, the composition itself is lyrical. And then there's the story which reads equal parts hauntingly realistic with a unexpected supernatural component that reminded me quite a bit of The Emperor of Any Place. Personally, I struggle in the early chapters with this style of writing because my mind wants to keep the realistic pieces together, “this is realistic fiction.” I find myself wondering, Is the character dreaming? Is this fantasy? When I first read a similar style I would almost say I hated the story until my mind wrapped around that it is a realistic paranormal fiction (if such a genre could exist). After the acceptance, comes awe. Especially in the case of this novel. It is nothing short of a masterpiece; blending culture, hormones, guilt, familial obligation, curiosity, fear, and forgiveness. If you don’t read any other 2018 YA fiction, please let this be the novel you read!!
For Ages: 14 years old and up
For Those That Liked: The Emperor of Any Place, The Beauty That Remains, The Chaos of Standing Still
Yoga Pose- Svarga Dvijasana (Bird of Paradise Pose):
*Begin in Warrior II Pose with left knee bent in front. Inhale and take your arms to shoulder height. Exhale and bring your left arm under the left thigh, and your right arm to the sky, then behind your back. Clasp the left wrist with the right hand. Keep the left leg bent, twist the torso to the sky as you gently press the hips forward into Bound Extended Side Angle Pose.
*Exhale and turn both your feet parallel, carefully start to move them toward one another. Once the legs are close to hip distance, straighten them both while maintaining the bind.
*Pour all of your weight into your right foot and start to lift your torso, at the same time lifting the left leg off the floor (as you straighten to standing balance on your right foot). Keep the lifted leg bent in this Svarga Dvijasana variation—Bird of Paradise with a bent leg variation.
Straighten and extend the lifted leg to the side, being careful not to swing the supporting hip out to the side. Fix the drishti straight ahead or over the right shoulder and stay for 5–10 deep breaths. Repeat on Opposite side.