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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tangled by Carolyn Mackler

Hello, hello!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!
Glad you could join us today for another great book to consider for your reading pleasure...but first, a quick reminder and status update.  As you well know, we currently have a contest running on the site for a copy of the newly released Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr.  If you haven't entered yet, just check the right sidebar under "Current Contests" for the link.  Part of this contest has a personal challenge built read and review the remaining books in the Wicked Lovely series before the contest ends and the winners are posted (05/15/10 and 05/17/10, respectively).  So far, I've made it through page 197 of Ink Exchange (book 2 in the series), which leaves Fragile Eternity and Radiant Shadows still to go...feeling the pressure (as it's been a busy busy week) but loving every minute of it.  That's it for the on to the sports...I mean review...

With so many great books popping up in various genres today, it can be hard to know what to give a second glance and which ones to walk on by.  Personally I find it hard to walk on by many of them (they seem to call to the avid readers soul....know what I mean?)  The feature of today's post I hadn't actually noticed in store (GASP!) but thanks to Laura at HarperCollins it was brought front and center....and to my surprise, deserving of the attention!  Today's book of choice is....

Carolyn Mackler

We're going to look at this one a little differently...(you'll see why)...first, a few thoughts from yours truly...
As soon as I picked this book up, I did not want to put it down. It's not that the story is earth shattering in originallity or covers subjects you've never heard of's truly in the way that it is done. All of the characters have a voice. You get to meet each any every one of them. Learn their back story, find out where their lives originally intersected and then sit back and watch as each one grows in their own way.  Usually a book with multiple points of view can drive me right up a wall.  They tend to have one too many twists going at the same time and either have me confuse the storyline in my mind, or just irk me in general.  This one?  Not a bit.  (Kudos to the author!) 

Now regarding those memorable characters....let's explore them from point A to point B and see where their road takes them.  In light of it being a multiple viewpoint book, it only makes sense to look at each one as they stand (or at least it does to me)...shall we?

In the beginning:  Let's conventional beauty guide her self-esteem (sound familiar to anyone?). Takes a self-confidence boost from the grope-fest courtesy of Dakota and then plummets once again when the "prettier girl" (in her mind) wins him over without even trying.
By story's end:  More self-assured but not overly.  Happy to lend a hand when she can without fear of retribution.  Comes through beautifully when a friend is in need despite their aversion to getting help and manages to snag some arm candy of her own (but not just for their looks of course).

In the beginning:  Self involved, hating life. Girlfriend died in a car accident a few weeks before their Spring Break trip. In her death, he discovers he never really knew her and they were a bad couple from the start. (cheating, lies and such....yeah for keeping journals that can be read after you're gone) Takes self-confidence boost by laying it on thick with Jena and yet gives in to his douche bag side by ditching her for Skye.
In the end:  Multi-faceted colors shine through. Accepts that he can be a jerk at times, but it is only at times.  Does not intend to let this aspect of his character define him.  Knows how to make amends with those surrounding him and takes action to do so.

In the beginning:  Me, me, me!  (Nope, I'm not singing...that's simply what was going through her mind.)  Focused on herself up until the point she starts to feel (or rather not feel anything) withdrawn, run down and out of control.
In the end:  Her outer shell being cracked, she sees and understands that a person is not an island in the ocean of life.  There are lots of friendly dolphins just waiting to assist. (The dolphins being friends and family, of course...though Flipper would probably help too.)

In the beginning:  Was all about the blog (Loser with a Laptop...gotta love the blog name there).  It was the only way for him to communicate openly with others without the fear of being put down, made fun of, or the like.  Didn't help that his brother was the rough-and-tumble manly man either. 
In the end:  He's grown a backbone and realizes that life is better experienced in person than through an electronic screen (Hmm, can't we all just get along? {{hugs friends and hugs screen}}).  Develops personal relationships that will last long after the laptop battery has died.  Realized that his brothers shadow does not have to be his tomb.  He can make his own mark in this life by taking that first step (and he does, but I'm not telling which'll have to read it).

Random Note
Something I noticed....a particular deck of cards in the story makes it full circle. Jena buys them, Skye borrows them, Dakota gets them when Skye leaves them, and Owen has them when Dakota left them after a visit.  It was a seemingly random occurrence and yet a very physical way of making the connection between the emotional "what-goes-around-comes-around" situations. 


If that doesn't have you curious about the book, I don't know what will. Honestly I didn't know what exactly to expect from this novel, but rest assured I got well more than what I would have ever anticipated. I really enjoyed their stories and the "ties that bind" so to speak that the author wove into each. I'd be very curious to see what this author brings to the table next.  Recommended reading for middle to older teens and adult readers...just be forewarned that the language can be crass at times and certain situations are a bit graphic in nature.

Special thanks to Laura at HarperCollins for the review copy.  (THANKS)  For more information on this and other great titles, be sure to check out their site or follow along on Twitter (one or two)! 

Until next time...happy reading!

**That cute animated photo there of a group hug came from CafeMom.  No infringement intended.


Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Awesome review, very informative!! Thanks!

Sara said...

I loved this book! Lovely review, I'm glad you enjoyed it :D

Alexia561 said...

Great review! Sometimes multiple viewpoints can get confusing, but when an author knows what they're doing, it's awesome!

Gina said...

Carrie: Thanks!

Sara: Glad to see a fellow fan!

Alexia561: Exactly...this one did it right for certain.

Emidy @ Une Parole said...

Love that cover! I've been wanting to read this for a while now.

The1stdaughter said...

Fantastic review! I really really want to read this book, I have from the first time I saw the cover and now from your review. Thanks!

Gina said...

Emidy: yes, definite cover love...simple yet perfect match.

the1stdaughter: Definitely recommend it for you...I think you'll like it!

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