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