Saturday, December 28, 2013

Out of This Place: A Quirky Australian Novel in Verse

Title: Out of This Place
Author: Emma Cameron
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: May 14th, 2013
Format: Library Hardcover
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Verse
Rating: ✎✎✎


In verse, three teen voices sound. Beach bum Luke works shifts at the local supermarket, and avoids trouble at school. His mate Bongo gets wasted, blocks out memories of the little brother social services took away and avoids the stepdad who hits him. Casey, the girl they both love, dreams of escaping to a free new life.

My Thoughts and Reflection:

It's been a while since I've read a novel in verse, and to be honest I was excited about it.  The premise sounded interesting enough; this girl must be pretty special to have captivated two boys.  And I might have a thing for books set in Australia.  But that's a maybe.  
Anyway, quickly I realized that this book was, despite being written in verse, told awfully strangely.  
The first third of the book is from the POV of Luke.  Honestly, Luke left barely any impression on me, his third of the book was bland and boring.  Disappointingly, it also gave me a poor impression of Casey.  I couldn't grasp a spark of personality because she was barely in it!  
When the POV changed to Casey it felt like suddenly I was reading a different book.  Her section was fast paced, surprising, and mentioned very little of Luke.  It did give a glimpse at the romance between her and Bongo.  Overall it was a little strange; I felt like her character was suppressed in Luke's section, and just exploded all of the pages of section two.
Bongo was my favorite character because he was interesting, raw, and real.  Luke was bland and completely unimportant to the story.  Casey was strange and awkward with her journey.  Bongo on the other hand, had the most fascinating story to tell. 
The most annoying aspect of this book was the authors tendency to retell previous scenes from the next  POV.  It felt like before we could get with the current plot we had to review what the character was doing during the first third of two thirds of the book, even if it wasn't relevant.  
To be honest, this book was disappointing, boring, weirdly paced, and unimpressive.  I'm certainly not going to go out and look for more from this author.    


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