A young adult book I finished in an hour as I received searing pains from my breast. Though short and somewhat predictable in plot and characters it was none the less enjoyable for a few reasons I’ll get into now. The main reason I am writing a review is simply so I do not forget this book. Though it’s not a diamond in the rough it was certainly a quaint experience.
I found this book at a second hand store and believed it looked interesting while also hoping to broaden my field of international writers as my palette is so restricted.
The entire book had a feel similar to the Evil Genius series by Catherine Jinks, my all time favourite young adult series. While the teenagers are fairly believable in personality and actions the stereotypes are there and the protagonist, Amanda Moo uses ‘like’ far too often to the point of the reader cringing and seeing through the veil of the story and right at the author. And who is the author? Nuri Vittchi. Know who this is? Neither do I. Let’s continue.
Despite this gripe about the authenticity of teenagers written by an adult male, the characters still had distinguishing traits to them which especially applied to our two mains. They changed throughout the short novel and faced difficult issues which is always crucial in young adult novels. It’s incredibly difficult for teenage readers to like teenage protagonists. Hell, it’s difficult for adult readers to like teenage protagonists. Amanda Moo however was incredibly likeable and reminded me greatly of Nao in Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale of the Time Being, dissatisfied with her situation but finding comfort in her own mortality. Eric Watts was rather enjoyable too. Like Amanda we are drawn to his strange behaviour and grow closer to him the more he opens up to her.
I will mention the concept of Amanda’s mother having HIV, a greatly interesting but also saddening branch to the story tree that I wished had been expanded upon. I haven’t read a book with this kind of issue before and I found it compelling. How does Amanda feel about this? How does her mother feel about that? How will they deal with the fact that her mother will die prematurely? That’s a topic I would’ve loved to read more about considering my attachment to Amanda. However this was not the case.
The style is simple with some sentences standing out as profound. Read any segments concerning Amanda watching the sea and you’ll find them. I’ve read better in teen fiction however I have also ready worse; much, much worse.
The ending was rather typical but satisfying, ending with a promise to be continued. (Considering this was written in 2001 I highly doubt Nuri’s going to be compelled to pump out a sequel now, sixteen years later) There was an inconsistency with the first chapter that I won’t get into, however it may signal to a completely different ending that is far too compelling for what this book is. Either that or it’s a mistake. I’m betting on the latter.
Overall it’s good for a read on a lazy afternoon, particularly so if you’re into computer science. As you’ve already guessed this book reminds me of many of my other favourites. I couldn’t criticise it too harshly considering it was over before I’d even started and it was a decent read.
Also the cover makes it look like it was made on clip-art. Hilarious.