Saturday, January 7, 2012

Review: Notes From the Blender

Declan loves death metal--particularly from Finland. And video games--violent ones. And internet porn--any kind, really. He goes to school with Neilly Foster and spends most of his classroom time wondering what it might be like to know her, to talk to her, maybe even to graze against her sweater in the hallway. Neilly is an accomplished gymnast, naturally beautiful, and a constant presence at all the best parties (to which Declan is never invited). She's the queen of cool, the princess of poker face, and her rule is uncontested-- or it was until today, when she's dumped by her boyfriend, betrayed by her former BFF Lulu, and then informed she's getting a new brother--of the freaky fellow classmate variety. Declan's dad is marrying Neilly's mom. Soon. Which means they'll be moving in together.

The characters were very enjoyable. I loved all of the little details that really made the characters. They were real people with real problems who were just looking for a break that they couldn't find. Then when they did find it it wasn't what they were looking for.

I am guy illiterate, so the guyness discussed on these pages may or may not be true. If it isn't true then I'm impressed with the honesty and the peak behind enemy lines. It's provided me with lots of information that will eventually worm its way into a book. If it isn't true I'm still impressed, possibly even more so, at the believability of it all.

Also, the dynamics were very diverse. There were same sex couples, blended families, doubly blended families, immigrants, and single parents. I come from a white middle class neighborhood, so maybe there is this much all over the place and I'm just ignorant. However, in this book there was so much diversity it almost felt staged.

For me there's always a certain amount of coincidence involved in every book, but there were a few to many in Notes From the Blender for my taste. How Neilly found out about her mom's relationship. How Neilly and Declan "met." How Neilly and Griffin met. The story was solid, but the way things that would send the story sailing ahead just appeared made me question the quality of the story itself. The curve balls were so soap opera-ish that they became almost predictable, and by the end of the book I was getting a little tired of having my chain yanked.

The problem may be that I'm in my 20s and am not quite the target audience for this story, and there are people I would recommend Notes From the Blender to, such as children going through a blending or families who have a member "coming out." However, this book is not for everyone.

- Aaron

1 comment:

Michael Offutt, Visitor from the Future said...

The cover for this is perfect. Two totally different pairs of shoes that somehow capture the essence of the owners that wear them.