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David, South Molton Community College - Carnegie

The Stars at Oktober Bend

When approaching this book I admit that I was put off by the front cover itself, as I assumed that it would be a 'girlish-love-tale', a genre I confess I'm not a fan of. Pairing this with the fact I had barely finished a Steven King novel- so I was unwilling to trade bloody horror for a tragic tale of love. Upon opening the book my expectations were not raised, the lack of capitalisation presented to me an irritance rather than a clever authors mechanic. As for the characters I would describe them as a poor attempt to tug on the heart strings of the reader. Criticisms aside however the story actally has an intriguing plot, even if it is inexpertly produced (in my opinion). In an overview the main character- a fifteen year old girl with the mind of a twelve year old after having terrible things done to her one night, falls right into the cliche girl- waiting-for-a-boy category. She repeatably has traumatic and crippling seisures, as brought upon by her mental issue (origionating from the experience 'under the stars'). This basically explains away the very childish sense of writing through her character, of which I would more dontate on a 7 year old with limited grasp of the worlds workings than a twelve year old in maybe present day America (or wherever the book is set, it isnt clear). She meets a boy called Manny who has suffered 'equally to her' by watching his family brtually tortured and murdered and then was forced to become a child soldier. After they meet and eventually become an awkward kind of couple, a series of surreal events come to pass. These climax with the girl's house being ripped off its stilts by a huge flash-flood of a river nearby. The protagonists then proceed to escape and arrive to safety and live out their lives as an awkward couple. I haven't even mentioned the mentor big brother who acts as a father-figure to poor girl either. In short although the book contains many powerful moments that make you appreciate what it means to be alive and as privileged as we are, the book is in short a disappointment. It skates over potentially interesting scenes and instead focuses on the boring and insignificant. It withholds information for so long, I assume to generate suspense, that nobody cares about it by the time it is revealed. I'm sure many agree with me but it just isn't my cup of tea as a read for enjoyment, or any read really.

Posted on: 7th May 2017 at 09:52 pm

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