Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Map Of The Known World by Lisa Ann Sundell


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 Amazon)


Before starting, A Map of The Known World, I had high exceptions. Since, the cover was stunning and I had been hearing great things about it. Luckily, it was a decent book, but it could have been a lot better.

First off, I loved Cora, she had just the right amount of sadness over her brother's death while not going overboard with it. One of her best traits was her ability to see the world as a beautiful place even if she would rather not sometimes. Also, I liked how her drawing of maps was a big part of the story, because it was fun to read her descriptions of them. The other characters, though, were lacking majorly, with the exception of Damien, Cora, and Nate. Since, they never really had much development, leaving their actions to sometimes come out in a negative way.

The plot was interesting, at times. Though, I thought, that Lisa Ann Sundell could go a bit overboard with her page long descriptions of things that would happen. I did admire how she could easily describe something in such great detail and lyricism, but I would rather have more action and dialogue.

Overall, A Map Of The Known World was a stunning and beautiful book, even with it's faults. I look forward to reading more by Lisa, since it seems that she has major talent with words.

Grade: B+


  1. Haven't read this yet but it's great to hear your input also!

  2. I have read a lot of mixed reviews on this one...

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