Monday, May 31, 2010

And Then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman [Book Inspection]

Plot Sketch: It's not so hard being a half-Indian girl in Silicon Valley. I mean, even if your parents were the ubergeniuses behind TrueTech and make a few cents every time an email is sent, and you didn't inherit their geek gene. And your ethnicity doesn't stand out either. Life is pretty good for Delia in Silicon Valley. She's got smart friends, a good school, and she knows how to fit in. But all of that changes when her mom, T.K. Truesdale,takes off on an Atlantic exploration aboard the Polar Star and the whole vessel disappears. T.K. is declared dead and Delia is sent off to live with her aunties in New York neither of whom she has never met. There are some inconsistencies in the reports of T.K.'s death, so Delia takes it upon herself to investigate. There's a psychic, a kooky aunt, and a surfer boy in this mystery, and you'll enjoy watching Delia unravel as she does everything she can to find out the truth.

Verdict: Do you ever get in a reading rut where you're feeling like everything you read is the same? Where every YA author has the same formula for writing books? I was totally in that rut, until I read AND THEN EVERYTHING UNRAVELED and Ms. Sturman yanked me up out of that rut and onto the mountain where I'm proclaiming how great YA is again! Not only are YA mysteries rare, they're tricky. But Jennifer Sturman has pulled off a great work of fiction and should be totally proud of herself. She's got a good strong main character who acts like a teen. She's got great supporting characters that fill their roles, have strong personalities, but aren't overdeveloped. She's got a great plot that I didn't figure out in the first fifty pages. The writing is fluid, coherent, and made sense even when my eyes were drooping at 2AM because I wanted to finish it so badly and so quickly. I think my favorite element was that Delia had smart friends. Too often are teens underestimated and portrayed as ordinary. There are so many extraordinary teens out there and I was so glad to see some characters depicted as smarties. If you're in the mood for a mystery, go pick up this book. I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment in the mystery of the disappearing T.K. Truesdale and her daughter's mission to find out what really happened to her. I can't wait to dive into AND THEN I FOUND OUT THE TRUTH! Oh, and did I mention that I love the chapter art and the cover?

The Gauntlet:

Location: Silicon Valley, CA; New York City, NY
Main Character: Cordelia Truesdale. Love her. I really thought she was real. There were a couple of instances where I was like, "Um, yeah right, she totally wouldn't do that." and then I realized I was looking at her as an adult rather than as a teen and it fell into place. She's not written as a teen who makes adult decisions, she's written as a teen who makes teen decisions and I love that.
Favorite Character: Um. I think kooky Aunt Charley is my favorite. I would want an aunt like that, and I think that I'm going to try to be an aunt like that!
Time to Finish: About four hours. It moves. I like that.
Got Stuck On: No sticky parts here.
Would Change: I can't think of anything to change.
Favorite Line: "'Like should I keep my date tonight or stay home and eat left over Thai food with you. I bet you've never seen Valley Girl. It has Nicolas Cage before he got creepy, and you're in luck, because I own it on both DVD and VHS.'" --Aunt Charley p. 146, hardcover. Why is this my favorite? Um, I feel the exact same way about Nicolas Cage. Just ask Ella.
Good for Monster? You know, he might actually like this one a little more than I thought he would at first thought. When I told him about it, he seemed interested. And though the MC is a girl, the boys don't seem all too out there.
People Who Will Like This: People who consult psychics, hippie-ish peeps, people who ♥ Veronica Mars, those who indulge in Ben 'N' Jerry's on a regular basis.
People Who Won't Like This: The CEO of BP and his buddies over at Transocean, people who are scared of the dark, people who NEVER smile with their mouth open.
Chapters: 32. The chapter lengths were perfect and they broke when it made sense. It was never an awkward transition.
Author's Website: http://www.jennifersturman.com/
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Point
Publish Date: July 1, 2009
ISBN-10: 0545087228

Acquire It:
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Notes:

1 comment:

Shari said...

I think I just found ANOTHER book to put on my TBR list. Thanks for an awesome review.
Shari
MyNeuroticBookAffair.blogspot.com