Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Grief does not change you


Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because the world needs people who have come alive.

Harold Thurman



Scott Westerfield’s steam-punk novel takes place at the start of WWI with Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination. His son, Aleksander is awoken in the middle night and begins his escape in darkness.

Meanwhile, in England, a young girl, Deryn Sharp, dresses up as a boy and enlists in the British Air Service. Deryn and Alek are on opposite sides of the war but through an unusual set of events, they strike up an unlikely alliance.

I thoroughly enjoyed Leviathan. Westerfield created memorable characters, who are so compelling and endearing – even when he or she is being a brat. What I appreciate most is both Deryn and Alek are flawed and because of this- they feel real. The common trend in the teen/ YA novels of late, seems to be to ignore the fact that human beings are flawed. The YA/Teen genre is flooded with characters who are the embodiment of perfection. Westerfield’s broken characters are refreshing and much needed.

Furthermore, Westerfield’s alternative history feels so natural – and is so riveting I found myself pulling out history books and checking Wikipedia for facts about the Ottoman Empire. The world Westerfield created was so colourful and adventurous I almost wish it were true.

I became fully engrossed in the world of Leviathan and whole heartedly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fantastic, swashbuckling adventure.