Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Fortunes of Indigo Skye

Caletti, Deb. 2008. The Fortunes of Indigo Skye.

I love the way The Fortunes of Indigo Skye is written. Deb Caletti has a way with words. It's almost a magical touch. A way of capturing perfectly ordinary observations--details of daily life--that just sparkles.

In its simplest, The Fortunes of Indigo Skye, is a story of a girl who loses and finds herself. Indigo Skye is a waitress. She's happily content with being a waitress. She loves her life in fact. But when one of her customers leaves her a big tip--as in crazy big--then Indigo's life becomes challenging. What would you do--as a teenager or adult for that matter--if you woke up to discover that someone gave you a little over two million dollars. Would you stay true to you? Or would you begin changing, transforming into a stranger? What makes you you? How grounded would you need to be to stay real?

The Indigo Skye we first meet is charming as can be. Her definition of happiness is simple, "an absence of wanting equals happiness" (44). She's got her waitressing job, school, friends, family, a boyfriend, Trevor. And for the most part, she's content. That's not to say she doesn't have times when she's restless and unsure. Moments when she wonders what she is going to "be" when she's grown up. But the money she receives changes everything...and everyone...especially herself.

I didn't love this one. Don't get me wrong. I loved the writing in parts. There are phrases that I marked as being oh-so-right and oh-so-true. But I wasn't loving the story of this one. Interesting premise. Indigo starts off with potential. But I didn't find myself connecting with her family--her mom and dad, her brother, Severin, and her sister, Bex. I didn't feel her relationship with Trevor was that developed. He seemed a complete bore. Someone she didn't feel much affection or devotion for. And there weren't many friendships--either with her classmates or with her fellow waitresses--that seemed to be important to her. The book was full of observations--vignettes of human personalities and nature. There were sprinklings of characters that were interesting. But none were fully developed. None were fully engaging.

The novel was enjoyable because of the writing--the language, the style. But the characters, the plot? Just so-so. I thought the book was sluggish in the beginning. It takes a little over hundred pages for her to receive the money. And I can see that as a good thing--in a way--it establishes a "before" so that there can be an "after." (In fact, I enjoyed the first half better than the last half.) But still, I felt it was a bit unevenly paced.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

No comments: