12/13/2012

Book Review: Forever ME by Thomas Amo


Synopsis: Hannah Richards isn't your typical 16 year-old at Wichita Falls High. Fashions, trends, cosmetics and style are unimportant to her. An avid reader, guitar player, classic movie and television buff, Hannah marches to the beat of her own drum. Visible only to her Father the town Sheriff, and her two best friends. Hannah lives a simple, un-pampered life as an "Eastie."

After coming to the aide of Taylor Monroe, a popular member of the ultra snobby "Stilettos" at school, Hannah's life beings spiraling out of control. As she starts spending more time with Taylor, her best friends abandon her, after a series of misunderstandings, causing Hannah to re-invent herself.

Hannah quickly gets caught up in a life much different than the one she knows, where status, glamour, makeup, appearance and acceptance become her masters. And what of the dark secret that haunts the streets of Wichita Falls?

Can Hannah survive the lies, deceit, jealousy and rage that are now waiting for her behind every corner? Will she succumb to the pressures of popularity? Or will she be crushed under the heels of the "Stilettos"?

High school is hard enough just being yourself, let alone being someone you're not


I have mixed emotions about this book. I enjoyed this book a great deal because of the thought and wit put into the dialogues but I wasn't able to grasp a few parts in the book.

WRITING

The first thing I noticed when I started was how it was written. It was written in the 3rd person point of view but I felt like I was watching a TV show/movie. Which sort of makes sense (in my mind) because it was originally a screenplay idea. (I read the acknowledgments, I'm cool like that) All throughout the book you can see what the other characters are doing or how they're feeling without necessarily taking the focus off of Hannah. Plus, you won't have to spend an entire chapter just reading about another character. I actually liked this even if it took some time getting used to. I enjoyed feeling like I'm reading a TV teen drama. You'll get it when you read it. *wink wink*

The downside however is that some parts felt a bit "jumpy." For example, in chapter 47, the characters are shown waking up or preparing for school at 5AM without so much as a smooth transition from character to character. If this was a movie, I think the beginning of chapter 47 would be a montage - and it would most definitely work. But if you use that in a book, you kind of lose momentum.

I also liked the lines/dialogues. Not only were they witty and funny, they were also realistic. I could totally imagine hearing some of the lines or doing some of the things in it. I actually laughed several times while reading the book and felt the need to tell my siblings about it!

One of funniest moments, to which my siblings also laughed:
"Can I at least shower and put my face on?" inquired Taylor.
"Uh-yeah, I don't need the neighbors thinking I'm hanging with the help."
Taylor held the phone away from her face and gave it the finger.
Call me shallow but that is funny!

CHARACTERS

One of the other things I was able to enjoy in the book was the protagonist herself. I absolutely love Hannah! She's so relatable because of her personal style and the way she speaks. I especially love her relationship with her dad. Their morning chitchat kept me smiling because I can totally imagine how they'd tease each other before going to school or to work. I also enjoyed reading about the Stilettos, and how pretentious they all are with their fashion and bullying. Even the minor characters felt alive because their personality's so real. Even though sometimes I felt like Lauren's and the Stilettos' bullying and Kyle's douchebaggery (I love that word) was a bit overkill (or not. Bullies are relentless - I should know), I think Thomas Amo did a great job at moulding the characters because they affected my emotions. I felt Dylan's frustration towards his mother, I felt as annoyed at Lauren just as Hannah was, and I got all riled up when Taylor was framed!

CONFLICT

Now I'll try to avoid giving off any spoilers at this point, even if most of what I have to say about this part has the potential to be a spoiler

I didn't really see the clear connection between the characters and the events, i.e. clique-wars & the murder mystery (me saying there's a murder mystery is not a spoiler) as well as everyone involved in it. While I enjoyed both parts of the story and I could see how certain things could cause what (UGH! This is so hard without spoilers!), I had a hard time trying to really bring the two together.

OVERALL

Even though some parts were a bit blurry for me, I'd still recommend this book. The story kept me entertained enough to finish it faster (it was kind of long) than I normally would have. The characters were great, the lines were humorous, and the switching perspectives made the reading experience quite enjoyable. ;-)

My Rating:

(Refer to rating system)


About the author
Thomas Amo



Thomas Amo has been writing since he was a boy. His dream was always to write for the movies, television, theatre. In the late 1990's he began a career as a full time theatrical producer and while running his own theatre company began writing plays for the stage. In 2000 his first novel was published. It would be another decade before he published again. In August of 2012 he finished epic YA novel, "Forever Me."


CONTACT INFORMATION





***I received an e-copy of this book for review.***
 This review is based solely on my opinion.