Jenre's Reviews > Green Lake

Green Lake by Anna Marie May
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Aug 24, 2010

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bookshelves: contemporary, m-m, romance
Read in August, 2010

There are a lot of new authors coming out of DSP at the moment. It’s always a risk as a reader to pick up a book by new author, most of the time it pays off and you discover someone whose writing really connects with you. Sadly for me, in the case of Green Lake, it was the writing and not the ideas which made this book only an average read.

The book begins with rich-kid Sean who has decided to take the plunge and escape the clutches of his controlling family. He’s headed from Texas to Alaska, where he has secretly taken up the position of research assistant to a vet. He arrives at Green Lake, determined to use the time away to really think about what he wants to do with his life. Within a few minutes of getting off the plane he meets Mark, the local daredevil and adrenaline junkie.

Let’s start with some of things I liked about this novella. I actually liked the whole concept, particularly the ‘opposites attract’ storyline. The two men couldn’t be more apart as Sean is rich, cultured, fairly timid, and has a habit of judging people by their appearance. In contrast Mark is poor, outgoing and lives life to the full. Sean looks down his nose at Mark from the outset, but also strangely admires his love of life. I enjoyed seeing the change in Sean’s feelings at the story progresses and liked the various points in the book, such as the party and the fateful hike on the mountains which forwarded their relationship. As a character, Sean is perhaps the most interesting of the pair, but that is possibly because he has the more scope for change, and I enjoyed the way he began to look at the world away from the rich and privileged life he’d had prior to his move to Alaska.

Another part which worked well was the way that the second part of the book changed both men. I don’t want to say too much about this here because it would be a huge spoiler, but the way the story moved on, challenged the two men to face up to some truths about their relationship, especially in the face of Sean’s controlling family was done well, and I enjoyed seeing them work through their difficulties. The pacing of the book is swift, and I read the book quickly, drawn in by the story.

The part of the book which didn’t work for me as well was in the execution of the writing. Nearly the whole book is written in a way so that we are told what happens, not shown. This gave the prose a disconnected stilted air and I felt a certain distance between myself and the characters because for nearly all the book they are telling the reader what happens and how they feel, rather than allowing me to see it for myself in their actions. It seems such a shame that a story with such great potential for emotion left me flat and I can’t help but think that given greater guidance in the execution, this story could have been far above the average mark I have given to it.

As I said at the beginning this is a new author, one I feel has great potential to hone and develop her writing. As first book’s go, Green Lake is a good, average read, and I’d recommend it to those who like ‘opposites attract’ storylines and are looking for a quick read in fill a lazy afternoon.
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