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Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Didn't Hate It, I Just Didn't Like It Very Much ...

(Image from Indiebound)

Since I can't figure out exactly how to describe Savannah Grey by British author Cliff McNish, I'm going to use the summary on its jacket flap:

Savannah Grey needs to keep moving. She doesn't know why, but she can't let herself get tied down by too many people. It's almost like she's being chased by something. And now something strange is happening with her neck - with her throat.

Savannah Grey never thought she'd meet someone like Reece - a guy who seems to understand her. He even knows about her neck. The same thing is happening to him. It's as if their voices are becoming weapons, warming up for some kind of attack.

Savannah Grey has no idea what might be chasing her or why her voice suddenly feels like the most powerful weapon on the planet, but she's about to find out.

Nature is preparing for battle with the universe's ultimate monster. The time to fight is almost here.

The weapon is Savannah Grey.

My mom always advised me that if I couldn't say anything nice, I shouldn't say anything at all. So, maybe, I should follow that counsel and leave this book alone. Not because I hated it. I didn't. There were just too many things that got in the way of me enjoying it. Like what, you ask? Behold the handy dandy list below:

  • None of the characters displayed even an iota of personality. Flat, dull characters make for flat, dull stories.

  • McNish never described the throat weaponry well enough for me to form a picture in my head - Are they physical protrusions? Or just menacing sounds? I remain confused.
  • Savannah's home life wasn't consistent. She had a loving foster mother who let her hang out on all night on the streets of London because, as Nina explains, "Annette didn't understand what was going on with me, but she did grasp that whatever it was, I needed to go through it alone" (173). What the what?
  • The incredibly annoying overuse of adverbs (like 2-5 on every page). This is Writing 101, people - adverbs exist to support weak verbs. Instead of tacking an adverb onto every wimpy verb, find a strong verb instead.
  • Lots of other stuff.
  • The bottom line is I finished Savannah Grey, but almost everything about it made me crazy. Not everything. I liked the idea behind the story. I liked having the monster's perspective. And I kind of liked Reece's role in the book. Everything else? Pretty much drove me insane.

    'Nough said.

    (Readalikes: Hm, I can't think of anything. Can you?)

    Grade: D

    If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG for scary images

    To the FTC, with love: I received a finished copy of Savannah Grey from the generous folks at Carol Rhoda LAB. Thank you!

    1 comment:

    1. This book was certainly different. My favorite part was the twist at the end. Well not the twist itself but the idea that I did not see the twist coming and was surprised. YA novels rarely surprise me these days.
      Truly Bookish


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