Karmic Retribution

Take Me There by Susane ColasantiTake Me There by Susane Colasanti
Publisher: Viking
Number of pages:  304
My copy: ebook

Rhiannon is completely devastated after the breakup with her boyfriend. She wants him back.

Nicole’s ex still wants to be with her, but she’s obsessed with someone else.

James is hopelessly in love with Rhiannon, who doesn’t see that their friendship can be so much more.

Will their desire to take a mean girl down a notch bring these three friends what they want . . . and more?

Set during one life-altering week and told in three realistic perspectives, this engaging, witty novel shows the ups and downs of love, friendship, and karma.

* * *

Okay, so how do I begin.

When I read Susane Colasanti’s When It Happens, I wasn’t terribly impressed. The story was cute and the characters were believable somewhat, but I didn’t really like how the story was written. I guess you could say it was too young for me, but then I’ve read other novels set in high school and liked it just fine.

But I wasn’t about to write Susane Colasanti off. I picked up her second book, Take Me There just recently and finally cracked its covers when I looked for a fantasy break. Take Me There tells the story of three friends: Rhiannon, Nicole and James, on the week that supposedly changed their lives forever. Rhiannon just got dumped, Nicole dumped her boyfriend and James is Rhiannon’s best friend and he wanted to be there for her. The first three days were told in Rhiannon’s point of view first, then the three days were recapped in Nicole’s POV and then James and then the next days were repeated in that order again.

I honestly don’t know how to go about this review without sounding too mean, because I felt really torn about this novel. There were cute moments, and there were a lot of things that I liked somewhat, but they were all shadowed by the glaring annoyances I had while reading the book. Let me count the ways:

  • I brought this up in my Teaser Tuesday post: I had a hard time reading this book because of the way it was written. True, it’s in written in a lot of detail, but half the time I found the details irrelevant, or at least they didn’t make too much impact in the story. It’s like I was in a mind of, well, a teen whose attention shifts from one item to another too quickly. ADD, but not quite. Yes, this is a book about teens, but the way it was written didn’t really appeal to me. Maybe that’s how teens speak, but why write it that way?
  • The story didn’t make sense (at least to me) up until about 100 pages into it. I know Rhiannon’s brokenhearted, but I didn’t want to read 50 pages of all that and only that. And it didn’t help that Nicole basically repeated what happened when it was her turn to tell the story, except that she did say something that Rhiannon didn’t know.
  • Rhiannon’s voice and Nicole’s voice sounded too similar for me, and they were both annoying, IMO. James was better, almost normal, but that was it. Rhiannon seemed to go around and around, and Nicole? Is like, absolutely annoying. With the way she talks? Like this. See what I mean?
  • It felt like there were a million characters in the book, because the other characters just kept on pointing out other people around them. Sure, they only pointed to characters that made sense in the story, but their purpose was dragged out up until the end. It may have been an attempt to put more depth in the story, that it’s not only just about Rhiannon’s heartbreak or Nicole’s ex or James’ love for Rhiannon, but it was hard to keep track of all of them, especially when they all sound alike.
  • By the end of the story, everyone was talking about karma, and all I could think of was, “Where did that come from?” Suddenly everyone seemed to sound like hippies, with all the “I feel so good with him and I realize he could take me there” thing. Maybe I just can’t appreciate it?

However, Take Me There‘s story did pick up quite well at the end, and I kind of liked how the last few chapters were written, because it made me want to know what happened next. I do have to give credit to Colasanti for creating a story that sounded real, despite its shortcomings. Maybe I couldn’t appreciate it as much because I’m not the target audience of the book.

Will I read more of Colasanti’s works? Probably, but not too soon. I kind of need a break from it, so maybe next time.

Rating:

Teaser Tuesday: Take Me There by Susane Colasanti

I thought I’d take a break from all the fantasy reads since I’m currently ahead anyway, so I’m now back to reading some contemporary YA, to sort of cleanse the reading palate and get me ready for more fantasy reads ahead.

Yes, I know that was one long (run-on?) sentence. But for now: whatever. The book I’m reading now doesn’t seem to like long sentences, so I’m going for that as some kind of offset.

This week’s Teaser Tuesday comes from Take Me There by Susane Colasanti.

Take Me There by Susane Colasanti

Rhiannon is completely devastated after the breakup with her boyfriend. She wants him back.Nicole’s ex still wants to be with her, but she’s obsessed with someone else.

James is hopelessly in love with Rhiannon, who doesn’t see that their friendship can be so much more.

Will their desire to take a mean girl down a notch bring these three friends what they want . . . and more?

Set during one life-altering week and told in three realistic perspectives, this engaging, witty novel shows the ups and downs of love, friendship, and karma.

Honestly? It’s taking me a bit to absorb this story. I’ve read When It Happens by the same author and I wasn’t really that impressed, but I thought I’d give her another chance this time, in hopes of being surprised (like how I was with Elizabeth Scott‘s Stealing Heaven). So far, I’ve got two reactions:

  • These kids are supposed to be in high school — do they really talk that way?
  • What is the point of this story?

It wasn’t until about page 100 that finally something made sense. I’m still skeptical if I will like this story (I mean, why take a third of the book before something finally connects?), but I will try to finish this in hopes of something changing my mind at some point.

I think I’m being mean now, but I will stop because that’s supposed to be for reviews. I will give this book a chance, I will give this book a chance.

Where was I? Oh, the teaser:

So I’m like, “But you are hurting her.”

And he’s all, “That’s not my fault.”

And I’m like, “Well then whose fault is it?”

Hm. I’ll reserve all other opinions when I’m done. But for now…yep, I’ll give this book a chance.

When It Happens

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti
Publisher: Viking
Number of pages:  287
My copy: paperback, bought from Fully Booked

Sara and Tobey couldn’t be more different. She is focused on getting into her first-choice college; he wants to win Battle of the Bands. Sara’s other goal is to find true love, so when Dave, a popular jock, asks her out, she’s thrilled. But then there’s Tobey. His amazing blue eyes and quirky wit always creep into her thoughts. It just so happens that one of Tobey’s goals is also to make Sara fall in love with him. Told in alternating points of view, Sara and Tobey’s real connection will have everyone rooting for them from the minute they meet!

* * *

I’ve been wanting to read this book ever since I spotted it as a recommended read in Amazon, and it took a while before I finally got myself a copy. When I saw it at the newly opened Fully Booked in Eastwood Mall, I grabbed it (in an impulse, I might say).

It’s an interesting read. I think the last he-said/she-said novel I read was Flipped, and I loved that novel. This one is just…well, interesting. I liked the two characters fair enough, and even the supporting characters were more interesting. I did find myself rooting for Tobey and Sara, and I’m actually quite interested to watch Say Anything, the movie mentioned in the novel.

However, there’s just something in the storytelling that felt a little off for me. I don’t know if it’s the present tense format, but I felt like the story lacked a bit of description, except when Sara starts painting or drawing or something. I felt like it lacked a bit of the smooth flow that other books have. I mean, for example, during one party that the characters attended, there was a part there that says: “Going Under is playing. Evanescence rocks.” I know it may be because it’s written to make it sound like how teens probably think nowadays, and maybe it just doesn’t gel with me quite much. Maybe because I’m not so good with descriptions that I like books with long and flowing descriptions?

But again, the overall story is good and a pretty much enjoyable, but it’s not really going to be in my favorites list. Maybe I was just too used to Sarah Dessen type novels, hence the conclusion. I’m still looking forward to reading Colasanti’s other novels, though. :)

Rating:

Note: Review originally posted at Refine Me