Monday, March 15, 2010
Tangled. Carolyn Mackler. 2009. [December 2009]. 308 pages.
Do you enjoy books with multiple narrators? I can't say I always do. Sometimes having multiple narrators keeps me from connecting with the characters, with the story. But in the case of Carolyn Mackler's Tangled, I think it works well.
Her newest novel is narrated by four characters and it spans four months. Two girls, two guys. (Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen.) Jena and Skye are so very different from one another. Or so we're led to think at the start. But their moms were close in college, are still close, in fact, so for better or worse these two teens are thrown together a lot. Neither mom understanding the 'torture' that such togetherness brings. Jena always feels less than around Skye. Skye is always auditioning for this, that, and the other. And Skye, well, Skye doesn't understand Jena's cheerful-when-in-distress personality.
When the novel opens, Jena is being "surprised" with a trip to Paradise. The catch? She'll be sharing a room and spending time with the all-too-glamorous Skye. But is Skye as perfect as she seems?
Dakota and Owen are brothers who haven't lived together since their parents split. Their parents each "chose" a child to keep. And the two aren't the greatest of friends. Dakota plays his role well. The role of a jerk. A guy who doesn't care about anything or anybody. What role does Owen play? Well, his mom thinks he's so busy playing on the computer, that he doesn't have a social life at all. But is that assumption true? Owen is a blogger. He's been blogging for years. And he feels comfortable online in a way that he doesn't in person, in real life. Yet he does have a chance for love. In real life. If he's brave enough to risk it.
The stories do build upon one another. And it is interesting to see if how we feel about a character changes as we learn more and more. This is particularly true when it comes to Dakota. Is he really as big of a jerk as he first appears?
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews