Thirteen-year-old Serena is torn from everything that’s familiar on her island home. “Everything will be better in America,” her mother tells her. They arrive in the US to find nothing as they expected. Speaking fluent Dutch, Spanish, and Papiamentu (the coloquial language of Curaçao), but limited English, Serena learns to pretend that everything’s fine while struggling to live up to her mother’s impossibly high expectations; always afraid to send her mother into another downward spiral of depression. She juggles responsibility for her mother’s well-being with school, a secret boyfriend, and a growing desire for independence, in a foreign land: Hollywood.Review:
The wisdom of her grandmother, a mixed-race mystic, gives her solace, which she clings to tenaciously despite the thousands of miles between them. Coming of age in a foreign land, faced with enormous obstacles, Serena finds her own feet and the acceptance that sets her free.
With Patricia Selbert's The House of Six Doors, I stepped out of my comfort zone when it comes to books considerably, and thankfully enough it was well worth the risk. Because The House of Six Doors is not only unique but also full of great messages and plenty of vivid descriptions to keep nearly any reader intrigued as well.
The House of Six Doors begins the day Serena and her mother and sister land in the beautiful and vast America, the land of promise and success. Serena is not too happy with the move because not only has she left her beautiful Curaçao behind but her beloved grandmother as well. However, Serena's mother promises her a life of luxury so she goes. At first, everything goes horribly. The people at the airport treat them with little kindness. Her mother loses her cool more than once, and their first house quickly becomes their car as they make the trek from Florida to California on the search for happiness. After a while, everything begins to go better. Serena makes a good friend named Sandu who maybe could be something more. However, at the same time, her mother and sister are slowly falling apart. After a traumatic event leaves everything askew, Serena begins to question everything in her world, such as what is love, and when have you gone too far for a person you love, and what does happiness truly mean- money or the people who make you that way? Will Serena ever find her place in this crazy, crazy world? Only time and more pages will tell in this richly told coming-of-age tale from Patricia Selbert.
The thing I adored the most about The House of Six Doors was the setting. From the sunny and richly described Curaçao to the glamorous and sultry California, plenty of descriptions were given that never failed to take me to the place described. I simply loved finding out more about Curaçao and Serena’s childhood there as well as Serena’s coming-of-age in California.
In addition, talking about Serena, I adored her character as well! I warmed up to Serena quite easily because she truly is the definition of a scared and lonely child who does not know who or what she wants in life. Patricia did such a great job of giving her regular problems associated with not only teens but also people who come from different countries to a new one, and I feel most will be able to relate to her desire and need to fit in. Better yet, I enjoyed the different relationships that took up places in The House of Six Doors between not only sisters and mothers-and-daughters but romantic ones as well. Because not only did they bring up some great and common questions within Serena, but also it was always interesting to see how Serena dealt with each problem that came with them.
The one thing I was not too pleased about in The House of Six Doors was the overall plot. It was often slow moving in the beginning and middle. While it did speed up towards the end, I was still left with the feeling of wanting more. However, the characters and setting details over shadowed this minor flaw greatly.
Full of emotions, rich settings, and a main character whom you cannot help but root for, The House of Six Doors is the perfect read for older fans of YA.
The House of Six Doors is now out.
Source: Christelle at BookSparks PR/Author
Thanks to BookSparks PR as well as the publisher, I have one copy of The House of Six Doors to giveaway.
To enter please fill out the following form.
Here are the official rules:
~ Must be 13 years or older (Though, please be aware that serious topics are talked about in detail in the book.)
~ Must have a US mailing address
~ This giveaway will end March 17, 2011!