Heather's Reviews > The Earthquake Machine

The Earthquake Machine by Mary Pauline Lowry
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's review
May 24, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: ebooks, from-author
Read from May 24 to June 13, 2012

Rhonda lives a privileged, but very unhappy, life as a teenager in a home with two parents who have a chasm between them. Her father is thoughtless and self-absorbed, her mother teetering on the brink of insanity. After tragedy strikes, Rhonda throws herself into the Rio Grande and emerges in Mexico as a Mexican boy named Angel.

I really wanted to like this book. I really liked the author, aspects of the synopsis really intrigued me, and therefore I really wanted to love this story. But I just didn't.

Rhonda seemed totally unstable and all over the place-- not strong, as I thought she was supposed to be. She just seemed crazy, one second sounding like a murdering fanatic, and the next sounding like a forlorn lovesick teen. Later it appears that she hates her own "impending womanhood", and is simply seeking a way to escape her doom.

Then at about 40 pages in, the story took a really strange twist and became like a psychedelic ride. Soon after peyote enters the picture and things get really weird. The story maintains this very over-the-top and maniacal feel up to the town of Arrazola, like a three day peyote trip and vision quest. Once Arrazola is found, suddenly Rhonda is reborn again as a girl and a quiet peacefulness settles in.

Much of the story was disjointed and fragmented. Often ideas were linked together in a weird way and didn't flow fluidly, leaving it feeling clunky and awkward. And the story was rampant with sexuality. Sex was a big focus of fascination and confusion for Rhonda/Angel. It was definitely too sexualized for the younger YA crowd, and parents should consider it strictly NC-17.

Not all of it was bad. There were moments I loved her descriptive writing. But for the most part I found it just...uncomfortable.

My final word: So I wanted to be wowed by this story, and in the end I was left simply "blah". Not bad, not good. Just...eh. But many others are giving it quite good reviews, so perhaps it was just a poor fit for me, and maybe it would be the perfect fit for you!

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Reading Progress

05/28/2012 page 32
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