Top critical review
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I loved the unique and odd characters. I hated the ending which left me grieving for days.
on February 7, 2009
Karen is divorced with a baby. She is on the run from her ex-husband and moves to Verity, Florida. Twelve-year-old Keith is the meanest boy in town and lives with his divorced mother Lucy. Julian is a policeman who uses dogs for police work. Julian rarely uses words and believes that bees and mosquitoes don’t sting or bite him because he is too ugly. There is a murder. Keith runs off and may be a witness.
This book is fantastic for its unique, odd and mesmerizing characters. I loved reading about these odd people, but as a story, there were too many unanswered questions and too much sadness for me. Throughout the book, too many people lose loved ones. The worst part of the book was the death of a character at the end. Two days after reading the book, I was still grieving. Why must great authors do this? Why do authors want to depress their readers? On balance, I do recommend the book, but only if you think you can handle the sadness at the end.
Please see VB's comment at the end of this review for some excellent points.
Some of the things I liked about the book follow. I loved Julian’s and Lucy’s odd relationship. I’ve never seen anything like it. They never talked or acknowledged it. Julian always assumed she would leave him because he was ugly or for some other reason. I was intrigued that he was attracted to her because she was lying. I loved the way Julian just looked at the high school yearbook pictures of two people and could tell much about them, and he was right. I loved Julian’s oddities and perception. I loved the relationships between a boy and a baby, and also between the boy and a dog.
I did not like that there were so many unanswered questions. Why did Karen leave her husband? What was so bad about him? Why did his parents want the baby so badly? Why was Lucy unhappy with a far away look in her high school yearbook picture? Why did she leave Evan and New York? Why didn’t she and Keith ever get along? Why did Julian decide not to pursue the man who had hired the kidnapper? I assume it was to keep the boy from having to testify. I could be wrong. The story around the character Angel was vague, confusing, and incomplete - especially his interaction with Shannon. That was so confusing that I’m not sure what my questions are. I’d be more willing to accept all the unanswered questions if the ending had been happier.
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 275 pages. Swearing language: moderate to strong. Sexual language: none to mild. Number of sex scenes 2. Total number of sex scene pages: 3. Setting: unspecified time, think 1980s, Florida and New York. Copyright: 1992. Genre: human relationships fiction with mystery and romance.