A Hundred Hours of Night by Anna Woltz
Published May 10, 2016, by Arthur A. Levine Books.
YA > Contemporary
Part love letter to New York, part portrait of a girl and a city in crisis as Hurricane Sandy hits New York City.
When Emilia de Wit ran away to New York City, she planned everything to a T. Plane ticket, purchased. Cute apartment, rented online. Subway map, printed and highlighted. This was no ordinary trip — this was Emilia’s declaration of independence. Her chance to escape the life her parents were ruining. To get away from the horrible scandal that had rocked Amsterdam, the scandal that was all her dad’s fault. To see if her mom, the glamorous, world-famous artist, would even notice.
New York steals Emilia’s heart at first sight — even though absolutely nothing goes to plan. She didn’t plan to end up homeless on a stranger’s doorstep. She didn’t plan to make friends with Seth, Abby, and Jim. And she could never have known that Hurricane Sandy would be barreling up the coast, straight for the city.
All she wanted was to get away from her parents, her problems, her life . . . and when the storm hits and the power goes out, Emilia feels farther from home than she could have imagined.
Special thanks to the publisher for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!
September 11, 2017: I’m writing this while at school, in complete disbelief that I actually had time to read a full book since I’ve been back. Classes officially started this past Thursday, but mine wasn’t until the evening, so I was alone with nothing to do on the first day, hence, I read this book!
I picked this one up because right now, the premise is extremely relevant to the horrible weather events happening in the southern US. A Hundred Hours of Night is a contemporary featuring family scandal, immigration, and natural disaster Hurricane Sandy.
Unfortunately, I found that this book doesn’t spend a ton of time focusing on the survival and aftermath of the hurricane as I’d hoped. The book is really about fifteen-year-old Emilia, who ran away from her home in Amsterdam to New York City, to get away from her parents.
Emilia is on the younger end of the YA spectrum, and she really did act her age. The book was very much a book for younger YA readers, apart from the great amounts of explicit language. I wasn’t particularly fond of the characters, and their interactions were awkward. There’s a hint of a possible romance, but it doesn’t develop into anything due to the characters’ immaturity.
Throughout the whole book, I just got a vibe of “rebellious young teen needs to run away to a foreign country to get away from her problems, rather than face them head-on.” A lot of the scenarios were cringe-y, as were the characters. Particularly, Emilia’s parents. I hated her father, for obvious reasons, and her mother was the most passive woman! I actually understood Emilia’s frustration with them.
Overall, this one didn’t deliver what I was hoping or bring on the harsh realities that came with a horribly destructive natural disaster. It was really just a story about a young runaway girl, that left me feeling like her reason for running was just not enough.