Heather's Reviews > Far from Xanadu

Far from Xanadu by Julie Anne Peters
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Jul 01, 2012

it was ok
Read on July 01, 2012

I hate to mark a Julie Anne Peters novel so low, because I have a lot of affection for her work. Her YA novel, "Keeping You a Secret" is dear to my heart, and she's further shown her ability to write subtle, emotionally honest fiction in her shorter pieces. "Far from Xanadu" did not even come close to throwing me off the Peters bus, but something about it just didn't connect for me. The concept--LGBT youth falls for a straight girl--is intriguing; loving someone who cannot love you back is a unique pain that, I think, all human beings can relate to on some level. Even if it's never happened to you, it only takes an average imagination to identify with how it must feel; and, speaking for myself, I did feel for Mike. I felt for her enough to stick with her for the whole ride, which is half the battle for any book.
The part that didn't work for me, personally, was the pacing. I felt like this one was a bit longer than it needed to be. Although I appreciate the novel's attempts to develop a more complex plot than its premise would suggest, it might have benefited from spending more time on the relationship that constituted the core conflict and a little less time on the sub-plots and details.

That said, I am actually glad that I picked this up, because my affection for the author made this title a great source of curiosity for me. The pleasure of having that curiosity satisfied--of knowing what it’s like, rather than wondering--is its own reward, and my criticisms of this piece won't dampen my interest in her other work.
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