Miriam's Reviews > Streamline

Streamline by Jennifer Lane
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Feb 24, 2012

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Read from May 05 to 08, 2012 — I own a copy , read count: 1

RATING: 3.5 of 5 STARS

Streamline by Jennifer Lane is a very well-written and interesting Young Adult novel that tells the story of Leo Scott. And this story is a lot, but definitely not easy. He has to deal with his families' problems (a mother dealing with the fact that her body doesn't work like before after her car accident, a brother that ran away years ago and an aggressive, abusive father. But Leo does not only have to deal with these things, there is school (he want to go to a good college and graduation isn't far away) as well as with the sport he loves: swimming - and the girl he loves: Audrey. And of course her family has problems, too, the biggest which is that her father is in prison for murder. So even though this story is very interesting and well told, it is definitely one for older teenagers and young adults.

I love how Jennifer Lane gets to tell Leo's story not only from his eyes, but how she constantly changes the point of view. That leads to a more neutral insight into the story, which is awesome most of the time, but can make very angry at times as well, especially when we get to discover more of Leo's father's background.

Lane understands to tell the story very realistically. Actually the fact, that she is not only a writer, but also a psychologist, has probably a lot of impact on the story. The reader gets to discover Leo's feelings, his fears and wishes, that are both the ones of a teenage boy, but also of a boy that has been abused for his whole life. Still he is a teenage boy that looks up to his parents, above all his father, in a way that sometimes make you just want to scream and yell at the protagonist to get out of this horrible situation. Streamline definitely tells you about dark sides of human beings, but it also makes you feel all the feelings. You feel the fear and the despair, but also the love when Leo is with his very cute, but serious and wonderful girlfriend Audrey. And isn't a book exactly mean to do that, to make you feel the story?

I would have given this book a way better rating if not for the fact, that even though I tried, I could not relate to any of the characters very well. The whole world Leo lives in, not even reffering to the abusive father, is very strange to me. I don't know if it is because the military family background (Leo's father is at the Navy, his mother was before she had the accident) and the way in which that has an impact on Leo's life after he graduates or if it is because of the whole swimming thing that I cannot only not identify with (because I'm just such a lazy, non-athletic person) but also had problems to understand in terms of what was going on - I just didn't feel a very strong relationship to any of the characters. And this made the story sometimes a bit hard to follow. It got a lot better at the end, when the whole story develops more into a murder mystery and everyone is questioning if Audrey's father really is the murderer everybody thinks he is and then this part of the story is connected to Leo's story more than it was before. And I loved how Jennifer Lane just made everything fit at the end. But this story made me just feel very angry towards Leo's father and everyone who did just not the right thing. And it didn't made me feel a lot for Leo or Audrey or anyone of the 'good guys'. And I didn't like that. Still, it's a brilliant read and I think especially American readers who can identify themselves more with the whole army, serving for your country and being proud of it-thing, will really enjoy this book a lot.
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05/05/2012 page 115
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