Monday, June 18, 2012

The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss

Posted by Simcha 4:25 PM, under | 6 comments

I have been wanting to read The Thorn and the Blossom from the moment I first heard about it. Based on a romantic 14th century poem and able to be read in two different ways, this sounded like a fun and unique book.

When I finally did get a hold of The Thorn and the Blossom I was impressed by the lovely box it came in and the obvious consideration that went into the book's design. When a majority of my reading time is spent clutching the hard plastic- cover of my Nook I have come to really appreciate a well-crafted book.

The story itself was sweet, telling of two teenagers, Evelyn and Brandon, who meet and quickly fall-in love but whose budding relationship comes to a halt when Evelyn abruptly runs off. Years later Evelyn and Brandon unexpectedly meet again and the feelings that they had for each other immediately resurface, but a secret from their years apart may prevent them from ever being together.

The text in the book is printed on both sides of the paper and the paper is folded in an accordion style so that it can be read on both sides. If you begin reading on one side of the book you get Evelyn's point of view and if you start on the other you get Brendan's POV. It's up to the reader to decide where to begin. And once both sides are read the full story comes together and it becomes clear what will happen next. I do have to say, though, that the unconventional way that this book was put together made it a bit awkward to handle at times. It had no binding and if not held tightly the pages would sag to the floor. Luckily this only happened to me once.

The book is pretty short, I read in within an hour, and I might have been disappointed by this if I hadn't been in the mood for just this kind of story. I had just finished a 1,000 page novel and was looking for something short and light to enjoy for "dessert." As it was, The Thorn and the Blossom hit the spot.


Thank you to Quirk Books for providing me with a copy of The Thorn and the Blossom for review


Oh I've heard of this one and I'm so glad you reminded me of it. I really need to get this one. I am so happy you enjoyed it and now I have another reason to have my dessert! :)

I've heard of this one, but I didn't remember it at all until you jogged my memory about the way the book is designed. It seems like it's really good in concept, but that perhaps it's not a very fleshed out book if you can finish it in an hour- what did you think?

Melissa: Glad to be of service :) I hope you enjoy it.

Aarti: It was a cross between a short story and a novella. The unique design and story-telling format is what makes the book really stand out though the story itself was also good, as was the writing. But you can only expect so much depth and detail from a book of this length. And had it been any longer the design wouldn't have supported the additional pages. Because it's such a fast read I don't think this is a book I would have bought for myself to just sit and read but I would get it as a gift for someone else, or just as a novelty item.

I had the same experience that you did; I was afraid to handle the book wrong lest it fall apart. It's a fragile vessel for a delicate and subtle story.

Short and light is sure needed after a 1000 page book :)

I loved this one more than I thought I would. I'm glad I started with Brendan's story first though.

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