Book Review: A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes


    How would you live if you knew the day you’d die? Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system.

But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her clock is running out.

I can’t even begin to describe how I enjoyed this book. It made me laugh, it made my heart ache for the characters, and it is one of only three books that have ever made me cry.

It explores deep questions about meaning, about life and death, and about GOD, but it does not seem preachy. It’s honest, deep questions that the characters explore.

Parvin Blackwater is a very deep character, which is something that a lot of authors don’t manage to do with their protagonist–especially the kind of protagonist which is a normal, every day person in their world. Nadine Brandes did this masterfully, and I found it very easy to connect with Parvin, who is a very likable, and yet not unrealistically perfect, seventeen year old. She struggles with many things that I, myself, have struggled with (yes, I have certainly known because of my Clock that I was going to die in a year).

The characters are realistic, the plot is thrilling, and while there are some slow spots, everything works together to build toward the high, climactic ending, which left me breathless for the second book (which, by the way, hasn’t come out yet…).

Nadine Brandes is a good writer. There was never a point when I saw a sentence and marveled at the wonderful craftsmanship–that would be nice and all, but it would distract me from the story, and so I’m glad there was never a point like that.
There was one or two places where I got a little lost, but only because I am not used to reading in present tense, and I had skipped a word, so it was entirely my fault, not the fault of the writing.
The descriptions were good most of the time, but there was one point where I could not visualize the scene. It was not a big deal, but I thought I should mention it.

All in all, I think I give A Time to Die a five star review. It was an amazing book, and I benefited greatly from this wonderful read.

Five Stars

Don’t forget to keep on the lookout for book number two, A Time to Speak!  (Click the image to go to book page.)



4 thoughts on “Book Review: A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes

    1. One of them was when I was… Oh, ten? Eleven, maybe? It’s called Arin’s Judgement. If I read it again now, it probably wouldn’t make me cry, but… Yeah. It was the first one that ever made me cry. The other one is called Icefall, by Michael J. Kerby. I wasn’t really crying, just kind of misty-eyed, but I’m counting it anyways. A Time to Die, on the other hand, had me misty-eyed while I was reading it, and then had me actually crying when I got up to do something in the middle.


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