Friday, November 5, 2010

Review #3

  • Title:  The Heart Is Not a Size
  • Author:  Beth Kephart
  • Percentage: 80%

  • Summary:  (from front flap) Georgia knows what it means to keep a secret. She knows how to ignore things. She knows that some things are better left unsaid....Or are they? When Georgia and her best friend, Riley, travel along with nine other suburban Pennsylvania kids to Anapra, a squatters' village in the heat-flattened border city of Juarez, Mexico, secrets seem to percolate and threaten  both a friendship and a life. Certainties unravel. Reality changes. And Georgia is left to figure out who she is outside the world she's always known. Beth Kephart paints a world filled with emotion, longing, and the hot Mexican sun.
  • Plot Line:  I thought that the plot of this book was unbalanced and kind of weak. Basically (this may be a spoiler, so CAUTION!!!), Riley is anorexic because she feels she can't be seen as "average" in her mother's eyes. But she doesn't like her mom, so why would it matter- I don't know. And that was the main conflict throughout the entire book. Georgia didn't want Riley to hate her because she points out that Riley has a problem, yet isn't that what friends are for? They are supposed to help you (in my opinion). But Georgia doesn't and she isn't there when the worst hits. In a nutshell, that is the plot. I felt like the Mexico scene and the work there was much more interesting that the "main conflict" and that made it less enjoyable. Also, from the first page you are introduced to the opportunity of going to Juarez for community service work and that, for me, felt like what the book was riding on. Yet when they finally get to Mexico, the book is halfway over! And then it starts getting really good as it continues, and then it ends as Riley hits open a pinata and magically everything is better and resolved. The climax of the story is toward its end on the last page, but it was rather disappointing since it was so sudden and the book has just started to get intriguing.
  • Characters: While the plot-line was weak, the characters were better. The main character, Georgia, was actually not all that interesting. Her life was interesting and she has a few problems (i.e. panic attacks, anxiety...), but I think the author relied too heavily on the problems and the story to define the character and bring out personality. All the people in great novels have really interesting lives and personalities, however Georgia was, eh, average, thus making the book, eh, average. The other characters were a lot better, and I enjoyed them, yet it did not make up for Georgia. I'm not saying I hated the book, but it was not as much of a pleasure to read than others I've recently read.

  • Ratings:  (1-5 stars)
    • Suspense:  3 stars
    • Vocab:  4 1/2 stars
    • Quality:  3 1/2 stars
    • Attention-Keeping Ability:  4 stars
    • Excitement and Exhilaration:  3 1/2 stars
    • Uniqueness and Originality:  4 stars
  • Overall Rating: 3 3/4 stars

  • Overall:  The Heart Is Not a Size was all right. I would only recommend it if you have read everything except the bottom few books on your "to-be-read" list. Be sure to have a good book to follow-up with or else you may fall into a book-slump (a condition in which a reader has read a not-so-great book and has nothing left to read, therefore creating a time period of longing for a really great book). Well, it wasn't that bad, but it wasn't good either. Read it if you want to, but otherwise, I'd check it out from the library in the future.

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