Saturday, December 18, 2010

Book Musings: The Nature of Jade

The back of this book asserts that it will appeal to fans o
f Sarah Dessen and I can't argue with that. There are many similar qualities to the book. Well-rounded protagonist, love interest, unique situations, dealing with family issues. However, I don't feel that the author is as adept as Sarah Dessen.

My problem with the book lies in one sentence: show don't tell. It's the bane of every writer's existence, and I understand being a little verbose, but it got to the point in the first hundred pages where I longed for the author to SHOW me something. Someone on Goodreads argued that in actuality the first hundred pages could be cut and woven in elsewhere, and I think I agree.

Also, there's a number of characters that serve no point. Jade's friends exist to just be Jade's friends, with little point in the narrative. They could have been consolidated to make a few really great secondary characters. Additionally, the author uses what I am coming to see as a trope in YA literature. Jade has a psychologist to whom she tells things, just as Valerie did in The Hate List. Except, with Jade it's unnecessary for the plot, because she tells the reader everything (and I mean everything) anyway. I think there are too many agendas that the author is pushing, too much that Jade observes about people said outright.

I did like the character of her little brother, and found their relationship pretty believable. The story and subplots were all pretty unique, and the ending was mostly satisfying-- if a little drawn out. I do feel that the thread of Jade's panic disorder could have made it much more interesting. Jade just telling Sebastian (the boy) about it could have been done so much better if he'd encountered her having an attack, or something. Up the stakes, as
[info]annastan tells us.


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