I thought this was nicely done and a compelling read. Truthfully, I found it slow at the start, and some of my concern was that the protagonist, GarthI thought this was nicely done and a compelling read. Truthfully, I found it slow at the start, and some of my concern was that the protagonist, Garth, feels a little flat at the beginning. His situation (dead father, overprotective mother, coming to terms with being gay) is very real and well rendered, but his voice is just a bit underwhelming as the book starts.
But over time I began to feel like I knew who this kid was, and that's a credit to the author. There is real life in the characters in this book, especially his best friend Lisa, whose sharp tongue and insecurities make her especially memorable.
Another review mentioned the uncle, and that the reader wished Garth had figured things out quicker. I felt that way at first, but as I read further I got the sense that Ryan was doing something a little more complex. I think Garth does know, and that he is compelled to go along with it because his Uncle Mike is his dead father's twin. And there's something very interesting about a character doing something that doesn't mesh with his own values for reasons he is not quite sure about.
By the end of this novel, I couldn't put it down. So I was glad I stayed with it and hope that other readers will, too. This is an extremely solid YA read.
I reserve the right to change this review, and I hope I will... if I decide to finish it, that is.
I'm reading this book because it's gotten such greaI reserve the right to change this review, and I hope I will... if I decide to finish it, that is.
I'm reading this book because it's gotten such great reviews and I like to read popular YA fiction that is well reviewed. But so far, I just don't get it at all. I feel like the author is bragging about his knowledge of all things surveillance, and it's rather lectur-y. To this point, anyway.
The characters seem somewhat two-dimensional and I have yet to feel connected to any of them, and it all feels a little preachy right now. I get it. Personal freedom good. Surveillance bad. The kids are going to fight the power.
I hope this picks up, and I plan to give it a little bit more time to do so.
UPDATE: I just couldn't finish this. I mean, when I was in graduate school, I wrote a story once that took place on 9/11. My classmates all agreed that the event pretty much stole the focus and made the drama of my story seem miniscule. I am sure the author purposefully chose to not focus on the terrorist attack, but I had the same reaction as that of my classmates. What of the mass casualties? Why are we listening to this whiny, unlikeable kid? ...more
Wow. I really was impressed by this novel on almost every level. It truly scared me and upset me, I read it in less than a day, and I thought the writWow. I really was impressed by this novel on almost every level. It truly scared me and upset me, I read it in less than a day, and I thought the writing was impeccable.
The danger with a book like this is that it's easy to break the spell and lose readers. One false note and readers will stop believing, and stop caring, about Alice. I believed her from word one until the final page. I needed to know what was going to happen to her. And Ray is perhaps the creepiest, most dispicable characters I've read in a while.
I wonder if Scott is familiar with A.M. Homes' "The End of Alice?" I'd have to assume so.
I will definitely be checking out more of Elizabeth Scott's books. ...more
**spoiler alert** I admit I really didn't care for this book when I began reading it. I found it confusing, and I thought it was overly detailed about**spoiler alert** I admit I really didn't care for this book when I began reading it. I found it confusing, and I thought it was overly detailed about things that didn't matter. But as I got into it, I liked it more. It's an interesting idea for a book, and the intensity definitely picked up as things went on. It only gets 3 stars from me because of my feelings at the beginning, and some issues I had with characters, especially Michael. I definitely didn't care for the fact that the menacing older character was gay/bi, foreign, and sexually attracted to the teen protagonist. I think we need to be careful about such easy answers. ...more