Monday, March 5, 2012

Review #153: Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Hello my wonderful friends! Once again I have a bunch of stuff for y'all today, and I can't wait to post the reviews! So let's get to it :)

Ten Miles Past Normal is by Frances O'Roark Dowell. Goodreads says:

Janie Gorman is smart and creative and a little bit funky...but what she really wants to be is normal. Because living on an isolated goat farm with her modern-hippy parents is decidedly not normal, no matter how delicious the homemade bread. High school gives Janie the chance to get on par with her suburban peers, but before long she realizes normal may not ever be within her grasp--and that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Between joining a jam band at school (and finding she has flair with a bass guitar), befriending a wild-child senior named Emma, running afoul of the law, and falling in like with a boy named Monster (yes, that's his real name), Janie discovers that growing up gets complicated...and that normal is entirely overrated.

This novel was very cute. It wasn't as good as I thought it would be, but still good. One thing that really bothered me was how short this book was. What I mean is that the time-frame felt too short. A sub-sect of that is how quickly Janie fell in love with Monster. It went like this: Janie meets Monster, Janie hangs with Monster, suddenly Janie and Monster are in love. I just wish their falling in love took a bit more time, and was more fleshed out. But back to the main issue, I thought everything happened in a bout two weeks. Janie wanted to be normal, made some new friends, found out she loved guitar, comes of age through various trials and tribulations, and learns being herself is the best thing. While I love the message, like I said about Janie and Monster's relationship, I wish the story took more time to develop, but unfortunately it didn't. Like I said, this was a cute storty filled with sweet and sad moment. I just wish those problems weren't problems.

Janie was a prett cool character. I liked her style, and her voice was easy to read. At times it felt like she was whining, but in a way you can chalk it up to just starting High School, which is hard for anybody that age. I liked following her, albeit very short, journey of self discovery. Monster, the love interest, was a bit odd. I can't describe it, but he was definitely odd. Despite that, I thought he was an awesome character and great for Janie, despite the setbacks. I also liked Verbena, who was a kick-butt character and fun to read. Janie's parents and best friend were fleshed out a bit, but ultimately felt like caricatures to me, not truly characters.

I felt like Ms. Dowell's writing style was a bit too simplistic. Plus as I said, she squished the time frame of the novel into a short amount of time.

I'll next be reviewing Shirinking Violet by Danielle Joseph.

Until next time, viva la literature!

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