Thursday, March 28, 2013

"Embracing You, Embracing Me by Michelle Bellon

Embracing You, Embracing MeNOTE: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. 

Well, I'm going to start off by saying that this was the most irrational and unpredictable novel I've read in the past year (or more). Just when I was beginning to think that I had it figured out, something new popped in the picture, taking the story and characters on an entirely different path. I think the author wanted to make something great of this story, and it might've actually worked, if it weren't so flat and boring.

The story itself has potential, but the writing needs a whole lot of improvement. For example, the percentage of show vs. tell was somewhere around 20 to 80. If you are a regular reader you know exactly what that means. I was tired of reading the book before I was even half-way through, but continued on with the hope that somehow it would get better.


It didn't.

In my humble opinion, if this story was split in two (or lots of the things were omitted), more depth and feeling could be incorporated. The way it is now, there's way too much going on. I mean, it encompassed a span of 6-7 years. (The girl, Roshell, was a sophomore when the story began, and was about 21-22 by the end of it.) But then again, all the events were so mushed up together, to fit into 300 or something pages, that most of the time we got just a tiny little description of what had taken place during a span of years.

I think I can safely say that this was beyond annoying. At times I was wondering whether I was reading a novel or newspaper clippings following the life of some random person.

I suppose I would've been okay (or not) with this, if the characters had any depth to them. If there were any real emotions, that reached me somehow. But the truth is that they didn't. All the people mentioned were described this way or that, but we never got to see how funny they were supposed to be, or how angry or how excited, or whatever. We read that they were so, but they didn't show it. Which brings us back to what I said earlier. There's nothing more annoying than having to read ABOUT something, rather than reading IT. You know? Most of the time Roshell was just retelling (in the narrative) what had happened to her. Darn it, Ms. Bellon, just give us some scenes! Give us some action! Give us some emotion! Humans (and in part readers) want to feel what the characters feel, for goodness sake!

I'm going to give one example, and there will be spoilers, so don't read on if you don't want to have the story spoiled for you.

There was a scene, where Roshell was supposed to have been taken advantage of by this guy, Erin. The scene wasn't described; Roshell hardly even said anything about it - she didn't even seem to feel any different afterwards! And dude, why the hell wouldn't she scream bloody murder if she was being violated in such a way? Afterwards, she just played it cool, like it wasn't that big of a deal. Whaaaaaaaaat?

Why on earth wouldn't she scream, or even put up a fight? Why would any girl allow to be raped if she could've prevented it? And shouldn't she cry or be angry or something? Wouldn't she want the idiot to be punished? I seriously don't get it.

Anyway, I had better wrap this up, or I could rant about it forever. If you did decide to read this book, please let me know if you liked it.

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