Friday, March 9, 2012

Review: The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis

The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis
Publisher: Abrams & Chronicle Books
First published: February 2012
Source: Received from publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 402
Goodreads Summary:
Anna and Abel couldn’t be more different. They are both seventeen and in their last year of school, but while Anna lives in a nice old town house and comes from a well-to-do family, Abel, the school drug dealer, lives in a big, prisonlike tower block at the edge of town. Anna is afraid of him until she realizes that he is caring for his six-year-old sister on his own. Fascinated, Anna follows the two and listens as Abel tells little Micha the story of a tiny queen assailed by dark forces. It’s a beautiful fairy tale that Anna comes to see has a basis in reality. Abel is in real danger of losing Micha to their abusive father and to his own inability to make ends meet. Anna gradually falls in love with Abel, but when his “enemies” begin to turn up dead, she fears she has fallen for a murderer. Has she?

Award-winning author Antonia Michaelis moves in a bold new direction with her latest novel: a dark, haunting, contemporary story that is part mystery, part romance, and part melodrama.
This is more suitable for older teens (16+).

My Rating: 5.0 / 5

First thoughts:
I didn't expect it, but The Storyteller turned out to be one of the most captivating reads for me. It was an emotional rollercoaster - never letting me take a break to clear my head and get a distance from this heart-breaking story. It was impossible to put down and that is why I ended up reading it in a very short time. If you're looking for a contemporary story that will not leave your mind, pick up this one!

More detailed:
The Storyteller is one of the rare books that will break your heart and mend it just to shatter it into thousands of little pieces again. There were moments when I couldn't put it down and moments when I was almost too scared to pick it up again - scared of what might happen to the characters that I have grown to love. I was addicted to this captivating style of writing and afraid of the decisions Anna and Abel might make.

This is not a happy book and still, it made me laugh out loud sometimes and was able to put a smile on my face. Anna is pulled into a darker world than the protected one she is used to, but cannot manage to stay away. She's a fascinating character, both naive and grown-up in an unbelievable way. At times, it is hard to relate to her, but I ended up feeling like a bigger sister who wanted to protect her from the world she is living in.

Abel is a difficult character. It's no secret that I love reading about the "bad boys" and often end up taking their side in a love triangle (something that is not to be found in The Storyteller) and I fell for Abel the moment we are introduced to him. He's quiet and kind-hearted, but at the same time he is very mysterious and it takes a long time to find out all of his secrets - and some of these made me cry.

Thanks to the disaster that is my local library, I didn't get to compare the English translation with the German original. I love Antonia Michaelis' style of writing and I'd really like to see what it is like in German, because I can actually imagine that it might be even more beautiful. Antonia is not just describing places and actions, she has made me feel as though I was actually part of this story.

All in all, I loved The Storyteller. It's a very heavy and dark story, one that made me cry. But it also made me laugh with its characters and hope for them to get their happy ending. It might not be the right kind of story for everyone, but if you are looking for a fairytale-like contemporary story that will be like a rollercoaster for your feelings, pick up this one.

YA Contemporary Challenge 2012

Now knowing what the book is like, this trailer is even more creepy and lovely at the same time!

Have you read The Storyteller? What did you think about it?
Do you plan to read it?


  1. Great review, Carina! I'm glad you loved this. I had some conflicting feelings about this book. But I still think it was brilliant. I just couldn't appreciate it as much as I wanted to.

    Have you read the original German version?

  2. Oh nice this sounds really much better than I was expecting from the synopsis alone! So you can read German? O_O Awesome!!

  3. This sounds really really good!

  4. Yay! I do think this sounds like an awesome book. But I also think it will kill me.. it sounds so heart-breaking. But, I tell myself I can handle anything; as long as there is no love triangle ;D And I do own this book; so must read it someday :) Great review :D I'm glad you loved it :)
    Love, Carina

  5. Great review! I've only seen this around a couple times and the summary always intrigued me - I'm glad to hear that it lives up to its description! I like books with a dark undertone, and that Abel is an appealing "bad boy" only makes me want to read it more.

    Definitely on my to-read list now!

  6. Wow, this books seems so great! Sometimes I seek those who deeply move your feelings, and I think this one is a perfect example :) I wasn't planning on reading it, but you made me change my opinion.

  7. I'm scared already. However, I so want to read this. I can't believe I've never heard of this before? I think I vaguely remember hearing about The Storyteller, but I can't be sure, and it sounds SO WONDERFUL.


  8. I'm glad to come across a positive review for The Storyteller. I've been wanting to read it, but became hesitate after coming across mostly negative reviews. It sounds great and I'm glad you enjoyed it :-)

    Safari Poet

  9. Wow, interesting premise. Thank you for an honest and wonderful review! I tend to feel hesitant when it comes to darker contemporary YAs. Your review, however, sold me into putting it on my tbr list.

  10. Ooh, I haven't seen this book around before. :) It sounds great, and I'm happy to hear that you loved it. I love when books surprise me with their awesomeness. I think I'll have to check this book out, since you loved it so much. Wonderful review, Carina! :)


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