BOOK REPORT for City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

Cover Story: Obscured Big Face
BFF Charm: Let Me Love You
Swoonworthy Scale:
 2 - Eleventy Billion
Talky Talk: Switcheroo
Bonus Factor:
 Untold Stories
Relationship Status: Actually, Could You Introduce Me to Your (Nonfiction) Friend?

Cover Story: Obscured Big Face

As stunning – and familiar – as this is, I like it a lot more as an image than as a book cover, which I prefer to be more story specific—and less anatomically ambiguous—because I'm not quite sure where the girl's torso is. (I mean, what's connecting her neck and arm?!) 

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The Deal:

When Tina and her mother arrived in Sangui City as refugees from the Congo, their lives were supposed to change for the better. But then Tina's mother is murdered in the mansion that she works at as a maid, and Tina spends the next four years honing her skills as a thief with the local gang, waiting to exact revenge upon her mother's former employer and suspected killer. So when such an opportunity arises, Tina's finally able to confront the past – only to be set forth on a path to uncover its long-hidden secrets. 

BFF Charm: Let Me Love You

Abiding by her own set of rules for thievery, Tina's truly not here to make friends. Between her mother's untimely death and looking after her younger sister, Kiki, Tina has had to grow up in a hurry. She might be hell-bent on revenge, but all I desperately want for her is peace.

Swoonworthy Scale: 2 - Eleventy Billion

Tina runs into a childhood friend, with whom she has a complicated history. But no amount of cuteness from them would turn this into a swoony book, given the horrific (but not graphic) sexual violence that other characters have suffered and is rampant in the Congo.

Talky Talk: Switcheroo

So, this might seem like a heist-y murder mystery – which is how it begins, but that really serves as a launching point for a heavier story. It's one that draws much-needed attention to the distressing reality faced by many in Eastern Congo. 

Bonus Factor: Untold Stories

It's difficult to describe without giving away too many details, but the story of the two girls definitely weighed on my heart. Told in the style of a fairy tale, its tragedy is no less devastating, with a happily-ever-after that has no hope of being realized.

Casting Call:

Rachel Mwanza as Tina

Relationship Status: Actually, Could You Introduce Me to Your (Nonfiction) Friend?

This book and I got along on our date, but it really opened my eyes to how much I should learn – and want to learn – about the people and places that it draws its inspiration from. Thanks for getting me started, Book. 

City of Saints & Thieves is available now.