Activism, but make it realistic!
Agh, I loved this book! Kate O’Donnell is truly an artist with her words, able to bring us into the mind of a sisteen-year-old with hopes and dreams and make it beautiful.
Goodreads Summary Sixteen-year-old Sofie is a dreamer, an artist and a romantic. So when she goes on exchange to Paris, she is expecting magnificent adventures of the heart and mind. Yet France isn't what she imagined. It's cold and grey, and she finds speaking another language exhausting. Sofie’s more homesick than lovesick. But then her host sister, Delphine, and fellow artist Olivier show her a different side of Paris, and Sofie starts to question her ideas of art, beauty and meaning. Of everything. There’s truth in what her best friend, Crow, has been saying all along: the world is in crisis and people need to take notice. But what can one girl do? Will Sofie be able to find the courage to fight for change? This One is Ours is a call to action for anyone who feels helpless about the state of the world, as well as an ode to all the tiny beautifuls that make it worth saving.
I’m an absolute sucker for anything set in my state or in places familiar to my daily life. Not only that, but I love books that are real, making me live with and long to be in the life of the character themself.
★ Rating ★
I rated this book ★★★★★ (5/5 stars).
Any book that deals with activism is usually so harsh and unrealistic, but this was a perfect mix of travel, youth, growth, family with activism dashed in there. It made me long to have the same beautiful experience and truly gave me the push to educate myself truly in the happenings of the world instead of running from it.
An alternative title could literally be;
The modern woman’s way to be aware, active and change the world!
This book, at first sight, is intimidating. Any book about activism is usually a scary one for me to dive into. Usually, they’re harsh and by the end, exhaust my brain and make me fear the entire thought of activism, but this one was not that.
This One Is Ours was soft. It was a story told from the view of an optimist; a girl who doesn’t want to let the state of the world bring her down but also blinds herself with that optimism. I relate to her in that way.
A few things I found so wonderful about this novel (aside from how soft and carefully it was written) had to have been Sofie’s maintained connection with her family and best friend despite being overseas for six months. There is also a natural growth in the relationship between Sofie and her host family, plus she never ever tries to fit herself into an aesthetic or stereotype but just is her genuine self.
There are small events that take place within the novel, setting the scene for Sofie’s realisation that changes her view on the way of the world. She takes on the mantra, the world is ending, pushing her forward in her cause.
Small events in between the mundane that all click into place in that moment when she finally understands. That moment may come once, twice or three times, but it comes and each one builds on top of the other until she understands. Understands that she can be a part of the cause in a way that doesn’t require her to be rich or loud.
She learns to use her talents to be a small part of the bigger picture. She’s an artist. A girl who has experienced life to the point it’s at now. Someone who has absorbed and understood history to the best she can. She’s growing and changing and questioning the way of the world.
I’ve said it and I’ll say it again. I love this book for it’s a realistic approach to activism. his book really isn’t about the activism when you are reading it, and it begs the question as to why it is the centre point for the blurb and reviews. But that’s the whole point, right?
A novel can’t preach to you but instead show you what you already know and experience in your own life, but instead giving you a solution as to how to approach these parts of life.
You see things in Sofie’s life that allow her to be blissfully ignorant about the state of the world. You see the small but realistic changes she makes to her day to properly understand the system we are trapped in. You learn with her how to to change your thinking and approach to life in a non-invasive way. Then, in the end, you learn to move forward with the new approaches and live life in a way that can help change the world.
This novel doesn’t preach, rather take you on a journey. It gives you the chance to listen and move and think. There are so many things I have to say and talk about with regards to how this novel has allowed me to understand the state of the world while not feeling like my head has been shoved underwater, or as if I’ve exited a dark lecture room, but I can’t find the words.
This One Is Ours is beautiful. A true work of art and something worth a read for anyone who just wants to escape, with the bonus side of activism and immortalised history (Notre Dame) there.
About Kate O’Donnell
Kate O’Donnell is a writer, editor and bookseller specialising in children’s and young adult literature. She has a BA in History and French from the University of Melbourne and studied Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT. Her first novel, Untidy Towns, was shortlisted for the Indie Book Award and the Readings Young Adult Book Prize in 2018. This One is Ours is her second novel.
I would love to thank AusYABloggers for giving me the opportunity to participate in this book tour. It is always such a blessing and joy to be a part of their organised tours and I don’t thank them properly in my posts, so here is the huge shout out and love xx
DON’T FORGET TO check out the other stops on the tour before mine!
Check out the graphic below for all the other accounts. I’m most likely the last one, and this is the last day, but don’t let that stop you!
*All handles can be found on Instagram, please go show them some love xx
See you back here on Monday’s (book reviews), Wednesday’s (storytime/ writing updates) and Saturday’s (other bookish content).