Monday, January 7, 2013
Review: The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell
Source: Blog Tour (Publisher)
Marnie and her little sister have a big secret that they must keep hidden, their parents are buried in the back yard. Fifteen year-old Marnie vows to not go back into foster care. Marnie will be considered an adult in one year, all they have to do is keep it together until then. The girls tell everyone that they irresponsible parents are on a trip, and they aren’t sure when they will be back. In the meantime, their next door neighbor Lennie helps them out. The girls begin to worry when Lennie’s dog begins digging around the backyard and finds a few bones. It doesn’t take long before authorities begin asking questions. A man claiming to be their grandfather is also making their lives difficult.
The Death of Bees was much darker than I expected, but I loved the book and couldn’t put it down. It’s impossible not to care about Marnie and Nelly when you close the book. These girls have gone through a lot; their parents were not the best and never put them first. This makes it very easy for acquaintances to believe their initial story. They don’t really miss them, just the idea of who they were and what they represented. Marnie is rebellious and doesn’t always make the best decisions but it’s undeniable that she does love her sister.
O’Donnell’s character development was phenomenal. At times I thought the language was a little harsh, but it didn’t really bother me too much. The relationship between Marnie and Nelly was very much a regular sister relationship, but their secret is always on their mind. It’s incredible that they were so trusting of one another. When Lennie begins to be more involved, and it becomes clear that he is not their happily-ever-after, I was really worried about girls and had no idea how they would stay together.
I highly recommend this one. I thought the writing was incredible and the story line was unique and original. Marnie and Nelly struggle with food, shelter, and school. Various people are looking for their parents, and they must stall them. I’m really glad I read this one. It was a great start to 2013 advanced reading.