Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Book Review

Book Review
The Yearbook
Allison B. Condie

It was the first day of school at Lakeview High, and everyone was afraid of something… The doors to the school swung open and closed, once, twice, a thousand times, and all the students came in, bumping into each other and walking down the hall together and passing one another. Stories were everywhere.
The bell rang, and the school year began.

The Jock. The Brain. The Class Clown. The Goth. The Ice Princess. The Wallflower…
High school is all about finding your place in the world, figuring out where you belong, who you want to be. For Michaela, Ethan, Andrea, Julie, Tyler, Avery, and Dave, their teachers, and their principal, this will be a year they will never forget.

Follow each character through the ups and downs of the school year as they discover the many ways their lives intertwine, recognize how their actions change their own lives and the lives of their friends, and learn that the person behind the label has more to offer than they can ever imagine.
(summary taken from the back cover of Yearbook)

This book was well-written, but after having read it I probably wouldn’t have bought it if I had read it first. The story has an awesome hook. It details the fears of many different characters in the story. These fears are so familiar and relatable to the average teen. I was excited to read on and find out about all these people, and how they would overcome their fears. One problem is that there are so many characters it was really hard for me to keep them apart. I loved reading about the track meets, and characters personalities, and how they worked their way through things. Yet, some characters got too little screen time and others too much screen time. Another problem was that there was too much that wasn’t resolved for me. The book was really short and felt like it could have been longer to tie up a few more loose ends. So, in the end it really was the fact that the plot arch left me unsatisfied. I really wanted more of a satisfactory plot for a novel that I paid for. I know that the book has a sequel that would answer all my questions, but I’m still kind of annoyed about how many characters I would have to remember, when I had trouble with that in the first place, in order to get into the sequel. So in conclusion, good writing, good characterization, good idea, but not a very satisfactory plot, and tons of characters to remember. I suppose a reader must take the good with the bad.

If you think I absolutely must read Condie's First Day sequel tell me three reasons you thought it was better than the first book in the comments.


Pat said...

I picked up First Day, not knowing that it was a sequel. I was a bit put off at first with each chapter being in first person, but with a different character each time, but I soon got the rhythm of it and got into the story.
I like that the book stands on it's own, without making me feel like I missed a lot by not reading the first book.
I haven't quite finished it yet, but so far am really enjoying the story, and how the characters lives intertwine.

Gamila said...

Thanks for the info!

Susan said...

I liked Yearbook a lot more than First Day. First Day follows mostly Andrea Beckett, who I thought was the probably the most authentic character in Yearbook. Somehow, though, she's much less interesting in First Day. The good thing about First Day is that is doesn't have quite so many characters to follow. It's pretty predictable, though.