Mini Reviews: December Fiction

Well, the new year is almost upon us and I am, as usual, behind on reviews. Since I don’t want to carry over anything into the new year, I’m going to just go ahead and do mini reviews so I can have a clean slate in 2011.

The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti: Wow, so I really did not like this book. Wait, that’s negative. Here, let me start with a positive. This is what I liked about the book: the premise. Eighteen-year-old waitress becomes an overnight millionaire? YES PLEASE. Too bad that’s the only thing that kept me reading. I found the characterization lacking in so many ways. I didn’t understand any of the the characters’ motivations and even when there were valid conflicts brought up (boyfriend too excited about funds, mom not pleased), they were never really addressed in a satisfying way. Also, I was really, really annoyed by the anti-TV, anti-cell phone, yay poor/middle class people, boo rich people sentiments. Plus also, nothing really interesting happened except that I learned poor people are noble, and rich people suck (except the ones who give away lots of money to people they don’t know–and even they’re whimsical and wasteful). Oh, and the ending was awful. So there you go.

YA Challenge: 31/75

Virgins by Caryl Rivers: This book was first published in the ’80s and is about Catholic teens in the ’50s. When I picked it up (library book sale for the win), I thought it was set in the ’80s because of the cover (perhaps it reminds me of Girls Just Want to Have Fun?), so the whole 1950s thing was kind of surprising.

That aside, I enjoyed the book. The character work is fantastic. I thought the relationships were really well developed, and the conflicts inherent in each were clear. The major overall conflict is growing up and growing apart (it is a coming of age novel after all) and how the characters navigate their relationships as they head for graduation and college. As such, it’s more of a character piece than a plot-driven novel. There’s a definite shape and trajectory to the plot, but the chapters are almost vignette-like.

I do think it’s a bit unbalanced that I was more invested in the relationship between Sean and his father than the relationship between Peggy and her parents. But that’s probably my only complaint.

YA Challenge: 33/75

Alex Unlimited Vol 1: The Vosarak Code by Dan Jolley: There’s not a lot to say about this book. It was a total bathroom book, and I still breezed through it pretty quickly. It’s not bad, it’s not good. It’s just sort of there. I won’t be seeking out the sequel.

YA Challenge: 34/75

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