Kate's Reviews > Tape

Tape by Steven Camden
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's review
Jan 06, 2016

liked it
bookshelves: 2017, age-middlegrade, age-ya

Ryan makes tapes where he talks to his mother, who passed away a couple of years ago. Ameliah finds a box of tapes, and when she accidentally hits record, she hears a voice speaking to her, and responding back to her question: Who are you? It's a weird little coincidence, both think. Ryan moves on to try to get along with his stepbrother Nate and try to meet the girl of his dreams who he just met. Ameliah is dealing with the deaths of both of her parents, as well as a mysterious man who claims he knew her father and a cute boy she sees in the park. Little do either of them know how connected they are.

The concept of this book reminded me a lot of Landline by Rainbow Rowell, where two people communicate across time and help each other. I thought there would be a lot more of the communication, but for most of the book, the only communication was "Who are you?" and "Who, me?" I understood quite early on what Ryan and Ameliah's relationship was, and while there was a sweetness to the story it also felt a little... odd? Though there are some innuendos this was very much a middle-grade novel, so that oddness might have just been my YA sensibilities because when you describe a book as a love story, you imagine that it's the two main characters who will be falling in love, and when you know that Ryan and Ameliah are (view spoiler) that's where the weirdness comes in. In the end it's all innocent... I was expecting more with the tape and there was not that much with it - which makes the story more realistic, because if there had been more, the characters would have needed to investigate the magic of it. I liked how the story moved between the two and how their stories aligned.

There was a lot of British slang, which is the only other thing that dampened my enjoyment - I actually had to look up what a "vest" was in British slang because it is a very different garment than what Americans mean when they use this word. Most of the other slang terms were familiar to me, though they might not be to your average American middle schooler.

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Reading Progress

January 6, 2016 – Shelved
January 6, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
May 10, 2017 – Started Reading
May 12, 2017 – Shelved as: 2017
May 12, 2017 – Shelved as: age-middlegrade
May 12, 2017 – Shelved as: age-ya
May 12, 2017 – Finished Reading

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