Monday, 17 December 2012

Sara Kadefors – Sandor / Ida (3/5)

Couple of covers:

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Genre: YA Romance

This is the book for you if you like:

- Books that focus on feelings instead of on action

- Books that constantly switch POV


She is gorgeous and popular.
He is a nobody.
She lives in the middle of Stockholm.
He in a backwards village near Göteborg.
She has endless talks with her girlfriends at a bar.
He spends all of his time dancing.
She has had enough of sex.
He has never had sex.
They call her a bimbo.
They call him a fag.
Her name is Ida, his name Sandor.
They hate their lives.
They meet each other in a chat room.

(Translated from the book’s blurb)

Thoughts on covers:

The covers are, in order, the German cover, the Finnish cover, the Danish cover and the Dutch cover. While I like the Dutch cover, I don’t think it actually captures the essence of the book that well. I’m really loving the German one, though; I think it fits perfectly.


There isn’t that much to say about a title that is “Sandor/Ida”, is there?


Ida is a girl who flees in booze and parties, because her mom is depressed and doesn’t know how to take care of her. On the surface she seems like a girl who you can only hate, but the book actually made me feel for her.

Sandor has a passion – ballet – and it doesn’t make his life at high school easy. I was actually less impressed by him than by Ida, because he and his story just seem so… superficial.


The book alternates between Stockholm and a small village near Göteborg.

General story:

First let me say, I’ve read this story in Dutch translation. As you can see from the covers, most of the Scandinavian countries (and Germany) have their own translation, too. Apparently there’s an American version which isn’t as much a translation as an American remake, so I’m not sure I’d suggest anyone read that version…

It’s hard to pinpoint how I exactly feel about this book. I liked Ida; her story was one of… not of constant improvement, but you could tell that was actually trying and when she hit rock bottom she picked herself up and tried to turn her life around.

My main problem with this book was Sandor’s story: he is so desperate to fit in, to be one of the group, that he’s willing to sacrifice all parts of who he is. I just can’t stand that kind of behaviour. What made it worse was that the book made me feel like I should applaud his steps toward belonging – while I felt that every step he took was a step backwards, I felt like I should have been applauding it like a step forwards.

Obviously, this is a book about how Ida influences Sandor in becoming more popular and Sandor influences Ida in becoming more herself, and mostly, it works. Especially when Sandor makes a couple of choices at the end of the book, they really have met each other halfway.

It took me a while to get used to the writing style, and I never actually started appreciating it. The book is a mixture of descriptions of their live and their actual chat or email conversations and I loved the way Kadefors used the language in the emails, but the style of the rest of the book just didn’t click with me. I did like the constant change in POV, though.

Another 3.5 for me, though this time, because of my conflicted feelings, I’m rounding it down to a 3.

Will I read other books from this author?

I might, but I honestly don’t know.

Overall rating: 3

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