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Bibliophilic Monologues


Raven - Allison van Diepen I had been looking forward to reading this book for a while. It had snaked its way down my reading list as the list got longer and longer and it might have disappeared into it, never to be read, had I not realized that my library actually owned a copy. Oh joy and sunbeams. So you can understand why my disappointment had a sharper edge when I read the book and found it to be lacking in so many ways. First of all, the characterizations. While I admit that Zin is a potentially interesting character, Diepen doesn’t develop him into what he could be. Instead he lingers at the edges of fascinating until he loses his hold onto it and cleaves to sentimentality and a cliched stereotype of what heroes should be. But even before that, Diepen goes into the book using jargon that is common to people who dance and know about hiphop but makes no sense at all to people who aren’t familiar with the moves. This disconnects the common reader from the story that either is targeted to a specialized audience or is a misstep on the part of the author. I thought that was very poorly done.Nicole remains a shadowy character, not quite managing to be fully formed despite being burdened with the usual cliches and problems. She’s actually very bland and uninteresting. The side characters are somewhat interesting but do not get the page time that would actually make the book better. The narrative is – well, let’s just say it requires a lot more work and fleshing out before it would actually make a compelling read. I want to know what her editors were doing because honestly, the book needed a lot more work before it hit the printers. There was potential in it but that potential was drowned by the author taking the easy way out to resolve the conflicts and come to a satisfactory ending. If I did stars, I’d give it a 0.5. That’s how disappointed I was.