As first novels go, this work fell in the realm of adequate. Some of the characters held a great deal of depth, while others barely seem 2-D.
I want to give the writer props, however, for difficulty in writing styles. Spanning the space of a school year, the reader finds him/herself in the head of a different person each chapter. An attempt to write in so many styles to truly set each character apart is never easy. The author uses journal entries, first person narratives, and a poem.
The author shows promise, and I believe I will read the sequel. Hopefully I will see some more improvement there, especially in character development.
The only real problem I see with this novel would be the limited audience the author caters to. Sometimes, that happens, and there is nothing wrong with it. However, it means that the majority of my reader friends will not receive this as a recommendation from me.
I will admit my true enjoyment from this book probably stems with the nearly autobiographical feel, for me, I felt as I read. This seemed far too much like my own High School experience. A pack of LDS kids (some of my friends) befriend some non-LDS people (myself and some other friends) and boomchaka… one decides to join the LDS Church (me) and several others consider looking into the Church (several of my other friends.)
While nothing in the book seems overwhelmingly moving, I still found myself moved as I related with the convert and her story.
This is a first novel, written for an audience that must be LDS audience, for young adults. I am saddened that a reader needs at least some familarity to the LDS culture to truly enjoy this book. There were places where a little explanation and additions could have opened this book up to a larger audience. I still recommend it, especially to LDS young adults.
All in all, not a bad way to spend a Saturday evening.
Originally posted on ladyozma.vox.com
As I travel through LDS culture as a new convert, I realize how different the culture is. I like it, but because we are peculiar, I wonder if it opens up chasms when people wonder at our differences and don’t concentrate on our many similarities. Perhaps I’ll check out the book though it may not be my type of book (I don’t usually read “real life” books, I’m a sci-fi guy myself).
Lady Ozma said:
Definitely a diff culture
I remember when I first started coming to church. Which was in high school. Reading this novel reminded me of that time in my life. Kind of nice to read something where there aren’t near as serious as they seem now… LOL
I’m a sci-fi girl myself. Even my girlie books tend to be dealing with vamps and stuff. HAHA But, I like to read other things as well. 🙂 Keep my brain moving in all directions. I’m currently reading more a “could be your neighbour” book called Knitting Under the Influence for my book club. (You’ll get a review when I’m done.)
I, like you, think that the LDS culture is peculiar, though not as peculiar as some might think. People focus on our differences. The “differences” are in this book but could go for almost any Christian faith. Of course, it did talk about the Book of Mormon, but the other stuff… like praying before a track meet or attending seminary could have been changed to a bible study… things like that… it would have opened this book to a larger audience. Likewise, a bit more explanation when the conversion and book of mormon stuff came up would have helped to also open it up and also made it a great missionary tool.
SInce you are LDS if you want a quick, thoughtless read… this is the one for you. But maybe not if you looking for something with a little meat. There are several chapters from a male point of view, though not as many as I felt dealt with the girls.