Review + Giveaway || Nora & Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor


Nora & Kettle
by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

Release date: February 29th 2016
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Genres: Historical fiction
Age category: Young Adult
No. of pages:  254 pages (paperback)
ISBN/ASIN: 1634221354 (ISBN13: 9781634221351)

What if Peter Pan was a homeless kid just trying to survive, and Wendy flew away for a really good reason?
Seventeen-year-old Kettle has had his share of adversity. As an orphaned Japanese American struggling to make a life in the aftermath of an event in history not often referred to—the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the removal of children from orphanages for having “one drop of Japanese blood in them”—things are finally looking up. He has his hideout in an abandoned subway tunnel, a job, and his gang of Lost Boys.
Desperate to run away, the world outside her oppressive brownstone calls to naïve, eighteen-year-old Nora—the privileged daughter of a controlling and violent civil rights lawyer who is building a compensation case for the interned Japanese Americans. But she is trapped, enduring abuse to protect her younger sister Frankie and wishing on the stars every night for things to change.
For months, they’ve lived side by side, their paths crossing yet never meeting. But when Nora is nearly killed and her sister taken away, their worlds collide as Kettle, grief stricken at the loss of a friend, angrily pulls Nora from her window.
In her honeyed eyes, Kettle sees sadness and suffering. In his, Nora sees the chance to take to the window and fly away.
Set in 1953, Nora & Kettle explores the collision of two teenagers facing extraordinary hardship. Their meeting is inevitable, devastating, and ultimately healing. Their stories, a collection of events, are each on their own harmless. But together, one after the other, they change the world.
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No one can own you but you.

Last year, my love for historical (especially WWII related books) bloomed into some kind of addiction. From movies down to books, I'm so into it. So imagine my surprise when I found this book. A YA historical fiction novel and set on WWII? This is definitely up my alley. Let me tell you a little secret: this book was fantastic.

I've said that this is my cup of tea but what really drew me in was the first phrase in the blurb (shown above). That really got me curious because how can she (the author) possibly write a story relating WWII and Pan? It was amazing, really, how this element was applied to the story. (You'll have to read this to know what I really felt reading this) It was astounding how Lauren wrote the story of two people, living side by side, without their paths crossing. It was like watching a movie, seriously.

But the reason why I gave this book a high rating was because this book focuses on the part of WWII that's not really on the radar of many people. I wish it was written more clearly and was emphasized more.

I love the independence of the characters. It was pretty scary and frightening just how real the characters were. The characters (especially the MCs) were developed well, though some of Kettle's (or Hiro :) ) past was a bit foggy. The pacing/flow of the book was steady, just the way I like it.

Overall, this was a great book. It's such an awesome find. Also, this is such a quotable book.
Did I like the ending? Not so much as I like the blossoming friendship of the MC but I like it, nonetheless.
Is it a page turner? Very much.
Will I re-read it again? Why the hell not?

About the author:
Lauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.
She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family life settled down, she turned to writing.
She is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semi-finalist and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist.

Author links:

Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box 03/10


  1. Great review! This sounds like a really good and well written read! Glad you liked it! :)