Friday, 16 May 2014

Review: Poppy


Publication Date:  May 8th 2014        
~A copy was provided by Bloomsbury Childrens in exchange for an honest review~

England, 1914. Poppy is fifteen, beautiful and clever, but society has already carved out her destiny. There's no question of her attending the grammar school - it's too expensive and unsuitable for a girl. Instead, Poppy will become a servant at the big house. And she'll 'keep out of trouble'. But Poppy's life is about to be thrown dramatically off course. The first reason is love - with someone forbidden, who could never, ever marry a girl like her. The second reason is war. Nothing could have prepared her for that. As she experiences what people are capable of - the best of humanity and the very worst - Poppy will find an unexpected freedom and discover how to be truly her own person

I do love Historicals, mainly because it's a way of learning without actually feeling like you're learning, because you're not reading a textbook, you're not reading information. You're reading about a life in that era, about the war and the way of treatments, you're learning while reading something you enjoy. Although it's researched, and of course, might not all be accurate, but...

With Poppy, there is no doubt that's it's very well researched. It's detailed, rich and has a very real and authentic nod to the era. The writing is also very atmospheric, there's a sense of urgency and desperation about it. It's also kind of, while trying to be upbeat, you can feel the hopelessness in the places that are dire- and since most of the book is set in a makeshift hospital ward, and in the life of VAD Poppy, there are a lot of dire places.

But, it's not too much that it goes into the depressive stage, we have counteract with the Soldiers that are on the ward, their hope, their jokes, and then there's the VAD's and Poppy themselves, while everything is pretty much going to hell around them and every day is getting worse and not better as hoped, they still try to bring the optimism. My favourite part was the Christmas part, everything just seemed so cheery and happy, they all just pulled together to do something great and nice for the soldiers they were looking after. Even if it was just one day, they kind of forgot what they were there for, why they were stuck in their beds.

 And we get a few chapters out of the thick of it, and get to know Poppy more while her romance with the son of the people she used to work for. That was one of my issues with Poppy. Mainly because it seemed like it was going somewhere, it was a light romance, and felt very authentic even if it's kind of a forbidden romance between the two since she work(s)ed for his parents, he's rich and she was a parlour maid, and she's a little scared and not sure if the feelings she thinks he feels are real or not and she didn't want to test that boundary. However, once she becomes a VAD she becomes less worried about that as Freddie keeps insisting on seeing her.

So my issue? The way that ended, it was kind of just random and didn't seem likely, I mean, okay, it is likely, because of that time and their places but I just wanted something...more before that.

My other issue with Poppy is Poppy herself, I just wanted her to feel a little more assured of herself, but she grew, and though she was still questioning herself, towards the end she took the plunge she needed.

My last issue with it was the ending, it was abrupt and kind of random, it didn't feel like an ending at all and just felt like a chapter end. It also seemed kind of rushed, too.

Poppy, Overall, is a very authentic and real tale of the life of a VAD in the era of World War One, with characters and an atmosphere that'll suck you in right from the beginning.

Rating: 3.5/5