by Gracie C McKeever, contemporary (2000)
Awe-Struck, $4.30, ISBN 1-58749-025-0
This book has the weirdest and funniest opening lines I've encountered in quite a while.
|Over and over again he flung himself forward, thrusting out his chest like a rooster mating and trying to attract the attentions of a hen.|
That's also the main flaw of this otherwise well-done story of young love. There are quite a number of, okay, many imageries or expressions that come off weird or just out of whack, particularly in the early stages of the story.
It's about talented track athlete Chris (let's not go into his last name, it's not something he's happy about himself) who falls for the rebel girl in school, Tori. Tori is hiding a lot of baggages under her tart, screw-you-too attutide, while Chris is always under intense pressure to excel, excel, excel. Both would have to find ways to compromise before making their relationship work.
Both Tori and Chris are well-done characters, although Chris does come off some sort of rather boring saintly figure at times. Tori is the most well-developed character here as a young lady who tries to tell herself that she doesn't care if she can't fit in, but she still feels hurt nonetheless. How she comes to terms with herself makes great reading.
And despite this being a high school lovey-dovey thing, I actually believe that maybe, these two can last much longer than after prom night by the last page. Tori and Chris seem so right together. Ms McKeever seems to have a knack for writing quiet and effective scenes between loners or rebels in love.
But the use of some weird-sounding phrases do jar quite a bit, although thankfully they seem to disappear later into the story, And sometimes the high-school-kids-talk don't ring real. These flaws do prevent me from enjoying this book as much as I did the previous book by this author.
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