05 July 2012

The Encyclopedia of Me; Karen Rivers

The Encyclopedia of MeThe Encyclopedia of Me by Karen Rivers
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Take away the format (an encyclopedia with entries from Aa to Zoo) and you're left with a rather average story about a girl, Isobel (known as Tink). She's 13, her BFF is named Freddie Blue, her father is Afro-Caribbean and her mother is a white redhead, and she has two older twin brothers, one with autism and one without. Tink goes through the usual crises of the early teen years of watching her BFF change, finding other friends (or not), getting a boyfriend (or not), etc. much as any other 13-year-old does in most other books.

It's the encyclopedic format that's supposed to make this different and, well, it doesn't. Some of the entries are amusing, but those have clearly been put there to fill out the book. It's not quite padding, because they're deliberately included by Tink. There are other, much longer entries that propel the plot (for example, the entry on "Boarding" or the one on "Mega Mall"). Perhaps if the author had stuck with a non-linear plot, this might have worked, but as the plot is linear while the encyclopedia isn't... it feels odd and forced.

ARC provided by publisher.

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