Thursday, January 2, 2014

Review: Everything Breaks by Vicki Grove

Title: Everything Breaks
Author: Vicki Grove
Published: October 3rd 2013 by Putnam Juvenile
Hardcover, 256 pages
Source: Print ARC - Publisher
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Paranormal 

Tucker was supposed to be the designated driver. But there was something about the beauty of that last true summer night, that made him want to feel out-of-control just once. He drank so much and so quickly that he was instantly sick. That left Trey to drive. "I'll catch up to you later," were the last words Tucker would ever say to his friends as he heaved by the side of the road. It was the last time Tucker would ever see them alive.

Tucker’s grief and guilt are just about unbearable and he wonders how he can continue living himself. When he meets the Ferryman who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers that divide the world of the living from the world of the dead, Tucker gets a chance to decide: live or die. The temptation to join his three best friends on the other side may be too much for Tucker to overcome.  A gripping, haunting and emotional read.

*sigh* I have been putting off doing this review for Everything Breaks for a couple different reasons. One, I can't make up my mind for a rating. I am on the fence between 2 stars and 3 stars. Also, I am having trouble finding the words to describe my feeling about the book, ones that are not negative but more constructive.

With that said I am going to begin with what I did like about the book.  Tucker the lead protagonist in the story was a strong and richly developed character. The author went into great detail about his life giving the reader a more in depth understanding about him and the choices he made. I feel more connected to Tucker than any other character throughout the story. 

I also really enjoyed the ending of the book, even as weird and confusing as it was. I liked seeing Tucker finally get some closure and peace.

Vicki Grove without a doubt is a beautiful writer. She really has a way with words. Very thorough and highly descriptive. 

Now, the not-so good....
I was bored, like really bored. The premise of the books sounds amazing. Tucker's friends end up getting killed in a car accident that he blames himself for. He's angry with himself for not driving and somehow preventing the accident. Now Tucker's friends have died and he is left alone. His grief, anger, and regret has consumed him whole. Tucker wishes he too had died that night or even could take his friends place. Later, MUCH later his does in fact meet a ferryman(girl) who offers him to join his friends on the other side. Sound pretty interesting, right?
Yeah, I thought so to. Almost the entire book was all about Tucker dealing with his grief, and rather large recap of his life before the accident.  How his friends meet, the things they did together and mostly just Tucker thinking back to the good times. That's all well and good, but I was bored by this. I wanted to so more about what happen after his friends died, and much more of a paranormal aspect that was described in the books blurb. Sadly, I felt  that I was mislead. I keep waiting and waiting for something even remotely interesting to happen. It wasn't until the last 30-40 pages the whole mythology aspect I was expecting throughout the book came into play. Once it did, sadly once again I was not thrilled by it and if anything I was more confused. 

The beginning and the end were pretty much the only parts I kind of liked. I feel the author went overboard with the  character development and showing the reader a more in depth look into Tucker and his friends past then sticking to what happened afterwards. I would have liked to have seen more of Tucker's journey to find the "city of death" than what was written.

All in all it was not a horrible book but just not at all what I expected. 

Ah, it's okay. 

About The Author: Vicki Grove

Visit Vicki at her website.

Vicki Grove is a freelance writer with about 300 articles and short stories published in such magazines as VIRTUE, READER’S DIGEST, TWILIGHT ZONE, TEEN MAGAZINE, and AMERICAN GIRL.   She has written ten middle grade and young adult novels for Penguin Putnam, many of which have been on numerous state recommended reading lists.  Two of her books, Reaching Dustin and Starplace, were included as School Library Journal’s Best Books of the Year. One of her books, Destiny, was chosen by the Society of Midland Writers as the year’s best novel for young people by a Midwestern Writer.    In 1998 she was inducted into the Missouri Writers’ Hall of Fame.  Her new YA novel, Everything Breaks, will be out in October, 2013.

“I think of my reader as someone with an open heart and an open mind who’s trying to live authentically and compassionately in this complicated but beautiful world.”

She lives deep in the woods of the Missouri Ozarks with her husband, Mike.

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