Sooo today I have decided to expand my repertoire and begin book reviews.
Right. I feel like you ought to know the reader before you know the book, so: I read this YA novel through Grown-Up Adult glasses. Wait, no, I don’t wear glasses. Oops. I also read YA novels because I once came up with a NaNoWriMo which, when I do something with it, will be geared at young adults. Writer’s cap on. Also, I’m a young adult.
Anyway. Oh Yeah, Audrey! by Tucker Shaw.
My summary: 16-year-old Gemma runs an Audrey Hepburn fan-blog, with a few others she has encountered. They decide to visit New York and do an Audrey Hepburn Tour Day in honour of the anniversary of her death. It does not go as planned.
The story is told on the clock: 4am, wakes up and does her elaborate costume. On the one hand I kind of liked the journal-type way of recording this, but on the other hand it made me want to keep score of what the time was on each chapter so I knew how much time had passed. (Overall, about a day) And on the one foot, since I’ve got two hands, I disliked it because I felt it made the story feel like things that happened and when they happened.
The plot was lean. They went here and did this; went somewhere else for a while; hung around some other place. The schedule gets ripped up fairly early – saw that one coming. It almost seemed more like a diary of events and – spoiler alert – Gemma doesn’t end up making the one commitment. Spent ages just on getting in character, thinking about Hepburn and once the plot does inch along, the one thing they have all been going on about gets chucked aside.
Character development. Thin – four people, already in their roles. Midway enters the fifth too-good-to-be-true dude. Guess what, he is too good to be true.
I will concede there was a bit of growth with Gemma, but that’s more regarding the Thing That Happened To Her. The rest of them were already placed in their roles, and there was no time or space for them to grow any further. Kind of like when you want a toasted sandwich and don’t have time to do the toasting, so you just have a soggy sandwich and it falls apart when you eat.
Title and cover: title I guess is a nod to the Tumblr blogs you may find, entitled F— Yeah X. Cover is cute, font’s a bit girly for my liking and maybe a bit too monochrome. Reminds me a bit of pop-art.
I ran through it in the span of a night. I read (skimmed in places), with Netflix in the background and sporadically going back to repeat a line of dialogue. It barely slowed me down.
Overall? I’d say 2 stars. The whole thing about a pack of teens running off to a busy city to meet up also bugged the hell out of me, I guess because I was taught Stranger Danger as a kid. Not to mention how this girl shares her blog login detail with total strangers. Gah. Thin plot and not-really developed characters took away a lot of the appeal. The premise is cute, the reality is not.
Food comparison: Something like marshmallow. Light, fluffy, but haphazardly topped with a bit of peanut butter for substance (and something that sticks in your teeth two hours later).