Author: Lotte van den Noort
Publisher: Hamley books
Genre(s): Historische fictie, ya
My rating: 4/5 sterren
Other books by this author: Unwritable
Fine Lotte van den Noort here:
Everyone knows a story about the Titanic and how it came to an end. This book, too, deals with a conspiracy theory surrounding this famous ship. Katharina Thompson wants to go to America to build a good future there with her fiancé. She wants a better life than the one she has here now, because she started with a good life in which she had everything, but due to a mistake made by her father, she now lives almost at the bottom of the class. Katharina gets a chance to work as a chambermaid on the Titanic and she grabs it with both hands. This is her moment to leave for America. Yet it is not all going so smoothly, because her brother Collin - who works for the White Star Line, the company the Titanic sails under - does not want her to leave. Katharina sticks to her guns and leaves. But it is and remains the Titanic, the ship that is doomed to sink.
Unsinkable consists of a mixture of fictional characters and characters that really existed, although you can't see any difference between them. They are all well-developed and all follow their own purpose with why they are on the titanic. The larger characters also all go through personal growth one by one. Katharina starts off as a naive and sometimes childish person, but once she becomes a chambermaid on the Titanic, you see her become (also through the choices she makes) really mature. You empathize with them and although you know from the start that the Titanic will sink, you somehow hope that it won't, so that all the characters, with whom you develop a kind of bond throughout the book, will survive.
In my opinion, the story is a bit slow at the beginning, but that is necessary to get the full story. Once you are on the boat, you are thrown on a kind of roller coaster and violent events alternate with a few seconds of calmness. That is really where most of the 'action' is and where most of it happens. Not only does the plot take enormous twists and turns there, but the characters also discover themselves and make adult choices.
Lotte's writing style is really beautiful and immediately draws you into the story. It is full of details and you can really see that a lot of research has been done for this story. And apart from a few small sentences that perhaps did not quite fit in with the time, you really had the feeling that you were standing right next to it, immersed in the time and just sitting on the titanic.
Apart from those few sentences, that I sometimes found Katharina a bit of an irritating character (which became less as the book progressed) and that I didn't always see the relationship between Katharina and Benedict as strong, as in chemistry, I have nothing to criticize about this book. I think the theory is very nicely developed and woven well into this story, giving you a different perspective on the Titanic as a person. And whether you like the Titanic or not and whether you believe in the theory or not, it remains a fun book to read that will carry you all the way to the end.
Oh, and one more small point to finish with. The design of the inside is also really great, from the chapter titles to the newspaper articles it all fits together. It makes the book and story even more of a whole.
Unsinkable is a smoothly written historical fiction about a conspiracy theory surrounding the Titanic. The characters are all well developed and really take you into the story. It really is a story that even people who are not fans of the Titanic can enjoy. A lot of good research has been done and a great young adult story has been created.
Let's finish with one of my favorite quotes from the book:
"I have never been afraid of water, let alone the sea."
- Lotte van den Noort, Unsinkable