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Nadine Brandes’ A Time to Die


How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?

Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system.

But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her clock is running out.


As many of you know who read my reviews, I’m a huge fan of YA. I had seen this book around, but I didn’t know much about it. Here’s my thoughts:

What I liked:

A unique setting. Dystopian really is so 2012, BUT, the author managed to create a new unique world that didn’t make me feel like I was reading a spin-off of another book (you know who you are Hunger Games!). Parvin’s world is not as “harsh” as other novels…so long as you have your clock. I really enjoyed the premise, and this being book one, I still have many questions.

An engaging plot. The book is interesting in the beginning, but it really takes off when Parvin gets cast through the Wall. Man, oh man, does she encounter some crazies. And I didn’t know what to expect. I think I was surprised on every side. Maybe I knew someone was going to die, but I didn’t ‘know how. Maybe I knew someone was going to come and help, but I didn’t know when. It was like, surprise, surprise, surprise.

Spiritually, I loved that Parvin has to learn to rely on God. She tries countless times to rely on other people, but at the end of the day when it comes to her surviving, its her and God.

What I didn’t like:

Parvin. I know. But she’s kind of a whiny narrator. Don’t get me wrong, if I were in her shoes, they would have found me curled up in a ball and crying somewhere. But, it meant that it was harder to like her. She never seemed happy with any situation that came up, someone always had to help her, and I found myself more often not rolling my eyes at her reactions. That said, I get the impression that she’ll be a little older and a little wiser in book two.

The romance. Ya’ll know me, I like my books with a generous dose of romance. There is something here, but I didn’t totally connect. I couldn’t understand why they were together other than the fact that he was a boy and she was a girl. But, at the same time the lack of romance wasn’t a real big issue for me since I was so concerned with what Parvin was going through.

Romantic scale: 5

Overall, this was definitely an interesting novel and I would recommend it. And I will say, I’ve been thinking about the mysteries that book one has not solved. But for me, some YA feels “older” and some YA feels “younger” and I will admit to liking the “older” YA books more. In order for me to love a “younger” YA, I have to really connect with the main character and I just didn’t connect with Parvin. That said, its different, really well written, and I think you would enjoy it if you picked it up!

4 thoughts on “Nadine Brandes’ A Time to Die

  1. Concerning the romance in this one, I actually emailed Nadine and told her I was mad at her with the ending! Haha! I cried when it all went down! I enjoyed this one so much more than the Hunger Games and glad it wasn’t nearly as violent (even though there were many scenes that caught me completely off guard)! I’m really looking forward to book two! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and happy Friday! 😀

  2. Thanks for the review, Embassie! Despite the limited romance (I know…I know…) I’m glad you enjoyed the book! Thank you for reading it. I think book two may fit some of your (and Laura’s) tastes a bit more. [wink]

    If you’re willing, would you consider copying this review to Amazon? It’s written so well and I think it would be really beneficial to other readers who have similar tastes as you. [grin]

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