Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff was a bit of a departure from my regular reading genres. Maresi is not only YA, which I don’t read much of, but it is also fantasy which I read even less of.
Maresi lives at the Abbey which is an Island where only women are allowed. A big part of the beginning of the book details the Island and what happens there and who is there and why. Though this probably makes for a slow beginning, I really appreciated it, as it helped me to understand the Island and what makes it special. When Jai arrives to the Island she has had horrible things happen to her and Maresi helps her to trust those on the Island and to feel safe. When Jai’s past comes for her, Maresi, along with others on the Island, find their strengths and come to an understanding of who they are as they protect Jai.
I found Maresi an enjoyable read. I often struggle in YA books with the complaining that characters seem to always do. I loved how Maresi did not do that but took charge of her life and found solutions to things that she struggled with in a strong way. She is a great example. I thought the descriptions of the Island and the development at the beginning really helped me to understand this fantasy read.
This YA, fantasy read had themes of womanhood, friendships, recovering from abuse, and the power of women. It is also a book in translation, written from Swedish.