Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review: Embracing You, Embracing Me by Michelle Bellon

Embracing You, Embracing Me
Published by: Fingerpress
Release Date: May 7, 2012
Number of Pages: 266
How I Got This Book: Netgalley
My Rating: 2/5
Summary from Goodreads:
" In a decade when image matters, when the so-called Generation X is swelling with 'future perfect' hopes and pride, 16-year-old Roshell McRady dances her way through High School, never quite admitting that she's ashamed of her trailer park family home. Meanwhile she listens to Madonna while conjuring creative Top Ramen recipes to feed her younger cousins; she empties enough hairspray until her bangs are feathered and vertical like a lethal weapon; and she agonises over how to convince Gabriel Harrison, the new Mystery Guy in town, to invite her to the prom - a night which threatens to turn into a disaster. But then life takes a dramatic turn for Roshell, and her life changes forever. A love story emerges from the anguish of Roshell's life, and when she leaves school and finds work at a casino, things don't get any less complicated for her - until one night a powerful dream marks out the exact path that she must take. Embracing You, Embracing Me has young adult humour and nineties-style cultural aspirations, but surprises with some hard-hitting moments that give the book a keen edge."
First, the positive. I really loved all the 90's cultural references. I was a teen in the 90's and a lot of this story just really brought me back to that time in my life when I was dating. I really enjoyed that time of my life, so it was nice to reminisce. The story itself was interesting enough; I was never bored reading it...however, I have to say, it reminded me of something I might have written myself as a teen. In other words, it had an amateur feel to it.
The characters, namely Roshell, just did not pull me in. I never really felt a connection with her. And her relationship at the end of the book really put me off. It was clear to me that it was a dysfunctional relationship (Nico says mean things to her, and she hits him; he just seems cold at times) but the author did not put this in a bad light at all. She makes it seem like this kind of relationship is ok, and I did not like that at all. I know relationships in real life are not all roses and rainbows, but I think that if a story includes a damaging kind of relationship, it should show some kind of consequence...especially if it's targeted towards a teen audience. I would not want my daughter to read this and think that this is normal and ok.
Which brings me to another problem...the age range in this book (Roshell is 15 in the first half of the book, and 20 in the second) makes it hard to target an audience. It just seemed like to broad of an age range to make it a good YA book (in my opinion). The writing style would really not pull in an adult audience either.
Overall, the story was entertaining, but left something to be desired.


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