**spoiler alert** From a review of the ARC I wrote in 2006:
"Someday, no one will have to tell you when you've done something well, because you'll hear**spoiler alert** From a review of the ARC I wrote in 2006:
"Someday, no one will have to tell you when you've done something well, because you'll hear the applause inside." These are the powerful last words of NOW YOU SEE HER by Jacquelyn Mitchard. They are the words that capture the main sentiment of this important story about believing in yourself, and I hope Mitchard herself takes them to heart.
I admire her for taking risks with this novel. It isn't easy to write a story with a completely unreliable and (I would argue) unlikable narrator. However, to make this story work, it is essential that we see the world through Hope Shay's eyes. Sometimes it's difficult for people to believe that the girl who has everything would have doubts, insecurities, and would have such a hard time dealing with reality that she would create her own little world to live in. But as Hope's world begins to unravel, she takes us on a heartbreakingly honest journey that ends with the realization that all the praise and critical acclaim in the world doesn't matter if you can hear that "applause" yourself.
The novel itself starts off somewhat slowly with somewhat stilted writing but gradually gets better as the story complicates. I feel that Mitchard, who has previously only written for adults and children, underestimates teens. The mystery surrounding Hope seemed too predictable and Hope's voice was one of an immature brat rather than the sensitive artist that she claimed to be. Ultimately though, this is a successful novel, with a very real story that teens everywhere can probably relate to on some level. ...more
**spoiler alert** From my review of the ARC in 2006:
Terry Trueman makes plenty of right turns in his new novel about a young boy struggling with the m**spoiler alert** From my review of the ARC in 2006:
Terry Trueman makes plenty of right turns in his new novel about a young boy struggling with the memory of his father's suicide. Just when it looks like a 1976 Corvette may help get his life back on track, Jordan's life gradually and believably spins even more out of control under the power of the "'Vette".
The story starts off slow, yielding somewhat to cliches and stereotypes, but continues to pick up speed right up until Jordan's breaking point, leading to Jordan and his mother finally being honest with each other about his dad's death. Jordan's revelation about his father and his father's last words to him makes for a finely-written, effective scene. Disappointingly, it would've been more powerful at the very end of the novel.
Trueman's use of present tense throughout the story is very impressive. Many times that can make a story read awkwardly, but in No Right Turn, it allows the reader to see and to feel everything that Jordan is going through while he's going through it -- we feel like we're along for the ride....more
**spoiler alert** The concept is so interesting and complex that I think it would only succeed in a master's hands. This book isn't quite there yet. W**spoiler alert** The concept is so interesting and complex that I think it would only succeed in a master's hands. This book isn't quite there yet. When you begin to delve deeper into an idea like alternate realities and then go as far as to transport and throw characters into other parallel realities, some magic has to be involved. There are plot holes you can't quite explain away with hard facts or common sense. The reader has to be willing to suspend their disbelief and trust the rules of the world that the writer presents. Sometimes I was willing to do that, other times I felt a disconnect from the story, very aware that I was reading fiction. The "alternate ending" chapter at the end was a bit strange in the way it was presented.
In general I felt the execution could be better, but I loved the British dialogue; I thought that was captured nicely. I hated how the two protagonists had unusual, fantasy-like names: Alaric and Naia, especially when adults had very dull, common names. I think I would've been more accepting if I didn't feel like I was in a fantasy world. There were some truly heartbreaking and touching moments between Alaric and Naia's mother though. Their scenes were my favorite part of the whole thing. I liked how Lawrence was attempting to show just how much of an impact every little thing that happens could potentially have on your life.
**spoiler alert** I really liked this book when I first read it in high school and then bought it when it was on clearance. But I don't really think i**spoiler alert** I really liked this book when I first read it in high school and then bought it when it was on clearance. But I don't really think it's my style anymore. The whole thing is kind of absurd. So much of it takes place in IHOP, there was too much name-dropping of famous figure skaters, and so many quirky small-town characters without much weight. At the end her French teacher turns out to be the robber just because he finally snapped and went crazy...and all that is then brushed under the rug. The very last part is rather predictable and the whole thing plays out like the season finale of a campy TV show. She also writes with a little too much description for my liking. However, I still like it a better than The Alison Rules....more