Message in a Bottle by Valérie Zenatti


Title: Message in a Bottle
Author: Valérie Zenatti
Published: In UK, 2008 – originally published in France in 2005
Format: Paperback
Pages: 149 (excluding about author, title page, etc.)
RRP: £6.99

(this funky info paragraph from Sara at Dragonfly Book Reviews!)

Message in a Bottle is…. enlightening. There really is no other way to describe it. The main character is a 17 year old girl called Tal Levine, who lives in Jerusalem. After a suicide bomb attack on her local (and NEARBY!) café, she decides to send a message in a bottle to Gaza, via her brother, Eytan, who goes to Gaza for kind of.. military communications or something every so often.

By doing this she hopes to communicate with a Palestinian, and by sharing their experiences they could come to an understanding – maybe become friends.

After two weeks, she receives a reply from someone under the pseudonym of Gazaman, and pretty much, it doesn’t head off to a good start. But Tal prevails, as being a positive and hopeful person (like her mother and father) and keeps sending emails to him.

I thought this book was BRILLIANT! I took this book from the library, but I thought it might be a bit short for a good novel, but the shortness made it so much more interesting! I want there to be a sequel so bad D: (there is a kind of… cliffhanger at the end)

About two/three chapters in she gets the reply, and from then it’s practically emails apart from perhaps three or four chapters.

This book is so amazing because it is an insight into the lives of two young people living in the most chaotic places of the world in this century – and having that fear 24/7 – and having to believe in only hope. And then there is corresponding with the enemy. Such a good idea, I think. Yet both of them are risking their lives, communicating.

The real good point about this book is that it is realistic, they both talk (because in some of the non-email chapters the point of views switches to Gazaman) about how no one can feel this pain, the fear, other than the Israelis and the Palestinians. Tal believes in hope – Gazaman is fuelled by anger towards Israelis.

I also thought, even though it didn’t go too indepth, Tal’s (and sometimes Gazamans) family lives were realistic and detailed – unlike some television programmes (and books) about the Middle East.


Sooo yeah. I don’t have much else to say. If I have anything else to add I’ll add it in at some point.

Hope you liked my first review 🙂

And before I forget – I finally updated my 101 in 1001 (after a looong 50 days! *shock*)

Ciao x

Dancing mushrooms and rainbow penguins…


One Response to “Message in a Bottle by Valérie Zenatti”
  1. taraSG says:

    Great review! I love the info you posted about the book at the top (number of pages, price, ect). I’d never heard of this book, but I’m going to see if I can get it from my library 🙂

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