Friday, August 16, 2013

Imperfect Spiral (2013)

Imperfect Spiral. Debbie Levy. 2013. Bloomsbury. 352 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Imperfect Spiral is a novel about finding your voice, and finding courage and strength to take a stand. Danielle Samuelson doesn't think she has much courage, ever since her huge panic attack the day of her bat mitzvah, she has doubted herself and her ability to ever be in public without making a fool of herself. (Specifically talking in public). Her best friend, Becca, wanted her to be a camp counselor with her. But Danielle was hesitant; instead she chose to babysit one kid for the summer. His name was Humphrey. The first chapter reveals the tragedy: Danielle and Humphrey were walking home from the park one evening when Humphrey was hit by a van. He died in Danielle's arms. His death upsets a community; neighbors are calling for change and reform. They want sidewalks. They want street lights. They want stronger immigration laws. (The driver of the van was an illegal immigrant.)

What I loved most about Imperfect Spiral was the depth of the characterization. I loved Danielle and her family. I especially loved Danielle's older brother, Adrian. I love how there he is for her during this. I also loved her best friend, Becca. I thought the author did a great job establishing Danielle in relationships. Danielle was a character I cared for. And I wanted her to succeed, to find the strength to speak up.

If the novel has a weakness, it may be in a series of coincidences that are revealed toward the end of the novel. To speak of these coincidences would be to spoil the book.

I liked this one. 

© 2013 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.

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