Saturday, January 2, 2010

Three Mini-reviews to start the year

Goodbye, Big Stack o' Books From 2009 which I have yet to review. You were wonderful, but our days together are over. Time for me to move on to some 2010 reads, but before I do, let's say goodbye properly.

The Brothers Torres, I loved you. Loved you so much that I composed brilliant snippets about you in my head, which I could never put together in a coherent way that did you justice. I fell in love with your characters, your story kept me in its grips through the end. Best way I could think of to describe you: The Outsiders with cajones. This is Coert Voorhees' first novel and I'll be first in line to read #2, which I believe is in the works. (Thanks to Doret of The Happy Nappy Bookseller for sending me this one!)

When the Black Girl Sings, you were another treat to read. I enjoyed looking at life through the eyes of Lahni as she deals with her trans-racial adoption from a new perspective as a teen. Being a choir member, I could relate to Lahni's transformation via joining a new choir. I liked your positive message about family and identity. I wish I had more to say about you.

After the Moment, what can I say? I expected to love you, because I thought your author's My Heartbeat was brilliant. I was disappointed. I found Freymann-Weyr's attempts to achieve a male teen point-of-view transparently stereotyped and unconvincing (boys like cars, right? So if he thinks about cars on page 39, is that enough to convince the reader that he's a boy?).
"His route now took him into a wealthier enclave than where his father lived. Hey, a three-car garage? Who needs a three-car garage? He tried to imagine what kind of cars would be inside, which was boring, but also fun."
Boring, but also fun? Guys (no, both genders, come to think of it) are either interested in cars, or they're not. This character never struck me as the interested-in-cars type. If he were, imagining what cars are inside a garage would be second nature, no more boring or fun than wondering who is calling when the phone rings.

Add to that, aspects of your plot that seemed calculated. Even the way the protagonist meets Maia is unlikely--she's invited to dinner by his 12-year-old sister, her close friend. Of course it's possible for a 12-year-old and a high school student to be friends. Am I being too picky? I'm sorry, but you just didn't ring true to me. Luckily for me, Freymann-Weyr has several other books out which I haven't read, and I look forward to checking them out.

Ah, that feels better. Now, on to read the next book in the stack!


  1. You've made me very curious about The Brothers Torres, because I loved The Outsiders when I read it.

  2. Yeah, I have a lot of books from 2009 I didn't review, too.... Moving on to new things!

  3. I should totally do a post like this to catch up for the year if I don't finish my reviews this weekend during Bloggiesta.