Jennifer's Reviews > Freak

Freak by E.K. Henry
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Aug 06, 12

bookshelves: first-reads, fiction, young-adult
Read from August 05 to 06, 2012

Received this through the First Reads program.
This book has some good ideas in it, and there's a lot of action going on. The problem is the characters make no impact. The main character is ill defined and all over the place with her actions and motivations, her friends, family, and classmates are just as nondescript and incredibly one dimensional.
Something that really would have benefited this book would be some sort of explanation of the world the reader is entering. There's no real setup as to WHY humans are lower class citizens now, and in such a short period of time. We're told humans are poor and disadvantaged, but you don't see it. You don't really see much of anything, and I find myself having to fill in the blanks more than I should. There's no distinct feel to the settings, they just ARE. It's a house, its a school, its a park. With the issues the book tries to take on, there should be more depth to it.
Another issue I have with this book is the black and white thinking. Humans good. Vampires bad. Except for the one exception, right? I don't understand how I'm supposed to buy into that, especially when Juniper goes from just disgruntled teen to bloodthirsty vigilante because she doesn't like the cameras in her house.
Her parents are moronic. There is no real attempt at making them actual characters, save for a line or two about "oh but being a blood donor is terrible!". They don't have personalities, and I really wish they did, considering how much their decisions have affected Juniper. It would have given her more depth also, as she would have had more to struggle with before rebelling against them.
I feel like a lot of what was missing from this was that it would have been fine if I were WATCHING it. I still don't have any concrete idea of what I feel any of the characters actually look like, and all the scenery feels like stock sets in my mind.
Many key characters weren't even mentioned until the last half of the book, which was irritating to read, and it only made the inclusion of a love interest that much worse.
Giving this book two stars because I feel like it had something going, and if it were executed better, it could have been a fun read. I wasn't bored, because the action was there, I just found myself sighing a lot because I kept seeing how it COULD have been good.
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