Jessica's Reviews > All Good Children

All Good Children by Catherine Austen
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's review
Aug 17, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: science-fiction, young-adult-books
Read in August, 2012

This book was just okay. I liked the writing style. It is very comfortable and natural, written in a convincing voice that I felt represented a fifteen-year-old boy realistically. I didn't really connect very strongly with any of the characters, though. I felt like most of the focus of this book was on teenage angst and antics rather than character or plot, which is what I'm most interested in when I sit down to read a book. As mentioned, this author does a good job of convincingly and realistically conveying teenage emotions and activities, but she somehow fails to create well-rounded, convincing individuals that a reader can really get to know and become invested in.

I also felt like this book dragged. I actually almost stopped reading this book about 1/3 of the way through because nothing had happened yet, which is a big deal for me because I don't believe in giving up on books. I really only finished this because I had nothing else to do at the time. The pacing of this book is just really slow, making even the climax and resolution fall flat, and the focus is more on Max dealing with the issues at hand as opposed to figuring out how to solve the problems. This made for an okay but not super engaging or exciting story, which is a shame because it is a really interesting premise. I was also disappointed by the ending because it does not really have any kind of resolution, but more of a temporary solution with a faint hint at blind hope that maybe things could possibly maybe change but probably not. Really disappointing.

Warnings (on a scale of 1-5):

Sexual/Body: 2 This story focuses on a bunch of fifteen-year-old boys, so it is not surprising that there are some comments made about boys checking out or discussing girls' bodies, but it is kept relatively tame and mostly just shows up in the first half of the book, likely as a contrast to the events that happen in the second half.

Gay/Lesbian: 2 For some reason, this author mentions and focuses on the boys being, pretending to be, or denying being gay even though it has absolutely nothing to do with the story. I suppose it was, again, used to create a contrast between before and after, but I personally don't believe teenage boys think or talk about it as often as this author makes them out to do.

Language: 3 The language used in this book is not excessive, but the words used are rather intense.
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