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Ebook The Book of Trees by Leanne Lieberman read! Book Title: The Book of Trees
The author of the book: Leanne Lieberman
Loaded: 2544 times
Reader ratings: 4.1
Edition: Not Avail
Date of issue: May 14th 2014
ISBN: 1554692660
ISBN 13: 9781554692668
Language: English
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 521 KB
City - Country: No data

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Probably 3.5 stars.

There’s a lot I really enjoyed about this book: The intimate descriptions of spiritual longings, Mia’s wrestling with her religious observance, the honest and heartfelt exploration of the history and conflicts of Israel and Palestine and what it means to be a modern Jew in Israel. What I really didn’t like: The love interest.

I’m not a huge fan of romance plots in general, and, mercifully, this plot didn’t take up too much of the book. Most of the time was spent with Mia, traveling with her through her emotional and spiritual ups-and-downs (for context, she goes from being totally secular to deciding she wants to become frum, i.e. observant; a huge leap to make), which are interesting and feel fairly authentic. The love interest, Andrew, is a white American gentile who’s just hanging out in Jerusalem, busking on street corners and performing at coffee shops, all of which is already cliched enough to make me gag a little bit. But what really gets to me is that his only defining personality trait is how condescending he is. He often acts like he understands the world, and Mia, better than Mia does herself. It’s clear he’s mostly supposed to be a catalyst for Mia figuring out a balance between her faith and a comfortable lifestyle, and also her coming to terms with the bloody history of Israel (and how this is reflected in the Torah, and thus in Jewish tradition). But his reactions to Mia’s struggles are often just to smirk or subtly suggest there’s something wrong with her for being religious. It makes it even harder to get into the romantic parts of the story. Plus he wears aviator sunglasses all the time. Gross.

The struggle here, for the reader, is that the author is Jewish and so you can’t help but wonder how she was intending the audience to view Andrew as a character; was he supposed to seem supportive, wise, wordly? How is he supposed to be helpful in this Jewish context? Unfortunately, by the end of the book, I found that the story was falling apart all because it was trying to make the romance plotline the main focus. Cliches upon cliches about how Mia’s friend can ‘see’ how Andrew has fallen in love with her; Mia realizing that Andrew ‘might actually be a jerk’ and ‘how could I fall for this guy’, etc. etc.. Also, it was sad to see Mia begin to follow in Andrew’s example, acting selfishly and condescendingly toward her more religious peers. One could chalk this up to the characters all being about 18, of course, but perhaps it’s just a example of how the author views the world, or how she viewed the world at 18. Or maybe basic romance stories just make me cranky.

I was worried toward the end that Mia wouldn’t be given much space to find a spiritual and religious balance for herself, and, admittedly, she wasn’t given much, but she was given some. Religion and spirituality are messy and confusing, especially at such a young age. Religion doesn’t always feel good. A sense of spirituality may be stronger at one time than it is at another. It is totally reasonable for a person to flip-flop about how they feel or what they believe or how they want to live, the way Mia did. She jumped from knowing hardly anything about Judaism to trying to fit herself into a very strict mold of Orthodoxy, which could, of course, work for some, but probably not most people. Any person would be bound to have some culture shock, especially if parts of the new lifestyle were in direct opposition with the old lifestyle, as was Mia’s experience. I was worried that the book was going to go the route of trying to tell the audience that a person could only be SUPER religious or not religious at all. Luckily, though, in the last few pages, Mia was given the space to relax, realize that she’s still a spiritual person, and that A. she can express that spirituality in a manner of ways, and B. that there might even be a different religious community within Judaism that could help her express herself more fully.

Overall, I liked the how much time was spent on genuine explorations of spirituality, religion, and identity, especially in a Jewish context, which is kind of rare in YA.

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Ebook The Book of Trees read Online! Leanne Lieberman is the author of five YA books including Gravity (a Sydney Taylor Notable Book), and Lauren Yanofsky Hates The Holocaust. Her latest YA book is The Most Dangerous Thing, about a girl who coping with depression and anxiety. Leanne also writes adult fiction and is working on a novel entitled Unsettled. Leanne is a graduate of The University of Windsor's MA in in Creative Writing. Originally from Vancouver BC, Leanne now lives in Kingston ON with her husband and two sons.

Reviews of the The Book of Trees


A useful book to free yourself from negative emotions and joy.


A book that has changed and continues to change my life for the better!


A hard book, obviously not for everyone.


Phone number you need to drive for protection against robots I wrote a phone and downloaded no problem.


All right, quick download.

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