Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Incense and Peppermints by Cathrina Constantine | A Book Review

Incense and Peppermints by Catharina Constantine | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!


To be honest, I am not really a fan of the '60s. The decade of rock and roll, marijuana,  drugs, war, and other things. It's probably the reason why I haven't read a lot about this period or there weren't a lot of books that I've come across that interested me enough. Or maybe, I just don't care about it or have understood little about it. Well, this book is different. It somehow opened my mind about that period and to the fact that teenagers, no matter what decade they are from, in some ways are the same. And speaking of drugs, it wasn't just popular in that decade, somehow every generation has its own share and taste of it. The the name and type of poison may vary or may have changed and evolved from generation to generation but nevertheless, it's one of the common things that become part of a teenagers right of passage through life. Personally, I haven't try one. So, I can't totally relate to that part.

I think I signed up for this book because the blurb was interesting enough, though I had my doubts because of the era it was set. Much to my surprise, the story was very relatable and not so dated. I guess, part of it being YA has bridged that gap, if ever there was that generation gap. I was actually absorbed in the story and just had to finish it. One of the reviewers had the same reaction. 

As I have said, even if you were not born in the 60s, you will definitely end up liking this book. It mentions a lot of truths which are still applicable or are happening to teenagers today. As you read through the story, you'll feel like you're Mary, the main character. Caught up in a world of crushes, drugs, late nights, and all other adventures teenagers find themselves in. She even had her own share of abuse and what's worse, she didn't know who the guilty party was until some tragedy struck. Finding out the truth was very devastating yet it was also liberating for her. She ended up not hating the person but rather felt sorry for him because that person was going through a lot. Which actually speaks much about Mary's character and maturity.

This is actually a really good story about the 60s with a lot of lessons. Like I said, I was so surprised that I was actually drawn into the story. All the doubts I had, had disappeared and it made reading it all the more fun. I guess, it has to do with the characters. The characters were very relatable and could as well be the same way teenagers behave nowadays or from the other books that I have read. Somehow I have an impression that I might not like the book because it's in the 60s and it's a very unfamiliar era to me and somehow things might get lost in translation or something. But that was never the case. Nothing was lost in translation or in the haze at all. For that, I think I owe it the author's ability to bridge that gap. That in spite of the decades of distance from the readers generation, she somehow had made it like the story is timeless. The events in the story and the characters could well be millennials and you'll see that they'll exactly be going through the same things that happened in this story. That is a very great feat to accomplish. Congratz Miss Constantine!

And with that, I give the book 4.5 /5 peppermints. So, being a teenager, no matter from which generation you are from, you will experience the same things a teenager has to go through in order to pass through to adulthood. The same confusion, doubts, and sense of anything can happen or the feeling of invincibility will be there. The same issues and fears that plague the kids in the 60s are still the same issues that bombarded the youth of all generation. And that somehow, connects every reader to this story set in the 60s. A really fun and touching coming of age story of Mary who could well be just you and me.




It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.
-  Cathrina Constantine, Incense and Peppermints -



Thank you again Xpressobooktours and Cathrina Constantine for the copy.