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Review by Suze
Odette used to tell her sister Trudchen all about their family's monster slaying, curses and creatures of the night. Tru hasn't seen her sister in a while and misses her stories. She's living with her aunt, while Od was sent away to work. Tru had polio when she was a child, which has left her permanently disabled, and her sister's stories used to be a welcome distraction from the often boring and difficult daily life. However, what can she believe of everything her sister used to tell her, are the tales she spins actually true or did Od make them all up?
When Tru is fifteen years old Od shows up again to take her away. Od wants them to go on a journey. It's time for her to keep her sister safe from the monsters and she has a large amount of weapons at her disposal. Od and Tru are traveling the country to find their mother. Meanwhile they're also hearing stories about the Leeds Devil. Are monsters actually real and if they do exist should Od and Tru follow in the footsteps of their family and be there to make the world a safer place?
Odd & True is a fantastic story about two very special siblings. Cat Winters alternates between the two sisters and the reader gets to see the past through Od's eyes and the present through Tru's. I equally loved both voices and couldn't wait to find out where their story would lead. I'm a big fan of stories about siblings and Od and Tru are a brilliant pair. Tru is kindhearted, gentle and brave. Od is outspoken, damaged and caring. They are different, but share their love for stories. Od wants to protect her sister by keeping reality away from her, which is chivalrous, sweet and also a little bit naive. I loved the interaction between the two sisters, they both grow as a person and while Od always tries to keep the bad things away from Tru they slowly become equals, which was incredible to witness.
Cat Winters writes about the difficulties of life when you don't have much money at the beginning of the twentieth century in a beautiful realistic way. She combines this with a fantastic part filled with creepy monsters and legends. I really liked the overlap between the two stories and the constant doubt I had about Od's tales. I couldn't discard them, but also didn't know if I should believe them. Therefore I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to find out where the story would lead and Cat Winters kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Her books always manage to captivate and spellbind me and I love how gorgeous her writing is. I highly recommend Odd & True it's a terrific story.
If you love historical fiction and are a fan of magical realism you should definitely read Odd & True.
About Cat Winters
Cat Winters is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author of four novels for teens: In the Shadow of Blackbirds (2014 Morris Award finalist, a School Library Journal Best Book of 2013), The Cure for Dreaming (2014 Amelia Bloomer Project pick), The Steep and Thorny Way (a Kirkus Best Teen Book of 2016, Junior Library Guild selection), and the recently released Odd & True. Her YA novels have garnered eight starred reviews between them, and they've appeared on numerous state and "best of" lists. She is also the author of two novels for adults, The Uninvited and Yesternight, and she contributed to the young adult horror anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys.
Winters was born and raised in Southern California, near Disneyland, which may explain her love of haunted mansions, bygone eras, and fantasylands. She received degrees in drama and English from the University of California, Irvine, and formerly worked in publishing. She lives in a suburb outside of Portland, Oregon, surrounded by forests that offer plenty of inspiration for her Gothic, atmospheric tales.
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