Friday, September 18, 2015

Criss Cross (2005)

Criss Cross. Lynne Rae Perkins. 2005. 337 pages. [Source: Library]

If Criss Cross had not won a Newbery, would I have felt differently about it? I think I definitely would have had lower expectations, and lower expectations or even no expectations often work in a book's favor. High expectations can lead to disappointment and frustration.

Criss Cross didn't "wow" me. I wasn't overly impressed with the writing, the characterization, or the plot. That is I did not find the writing, the characterization, or the plot: amazing, brilliant, wonderful, spectacular, or overly memorable. There was never this WOW, WHAT A BOOK moment.

The writing was okay. It was. The characterization was just fine. The plot, well, not much happens, but not much has to happen if I'm enjoying the writing or the characters. It was an ordinary, just fine, not-extra-memorable read for me. Nothing to complain about certainly, but nothing to gush about.

Criss Cross visits the lives of a handful of teens: some boys, some girls. One of the characters is a girl named Debbie. She almost has a main-character feel to her. But just almost. There were too many character perspectives to really feel properly settled with any one of them as being the main character. There lives sometimes touch each other. (One chapter even has two perspectives side by side.) Criss Cross is definitely made up of many moments--seemingly insignificant moments--that when reflected upon later take on a bit of significance.

For those who love coming-of-age stories, this one could prove satisfying enough.

I will add that this one is historical fiction. Though the historical setting is a bit fuzzy. There are hints throughout the text that this is set in the past, but, it may not prove obvious to every reader, especially in the beginning.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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