The author, Myndi Schaffer, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
Shafer gives the reader touchstones that will spark the consciousness of a younger generation in her work. This is going to be that work that a young reader will read again and again well into their elder years.
For much of the book we know that Johanna harbors a vague power or secret for which she’s feared. She has a canine companion that she calls Joby but, of course, he doesn’t know that because she never speaks. She lives her life expecting Joby, a pet given to her by a friendly guard, to one-day just leave her life and she will go on because that’s how life works. The sense of desolation from this character is astounding. She has plans but little hope and to live each day without that sense of something coming next punches the reader in the heart. Matthew asks Joanna who is skirting the edge of a dance floor if she knows why they dance. “Defiance…. It is our reminder that a good life - even if it’s a simple life, an underground life - is worth fighting for” (Page 78). The impact of what this society has lost is stark and vital and one that readers will understand is to be cherished.
There is an expert flow to Shafer's story. The beauty of her construction is that its so well thought out. This is not an author who sat down and raced out a slap-dash story to post and make a few bucks. “Hanna Hanna One and Two” reads as a labor of love and I loved it.
There are risqué language and adult themes in “Hanna Hanna One and Two.” The story is suitable for older teens and adults who love good stories.
(reviewed 48 days after purchase)