Friday, March 18, 2016

Book review - The Girl in the Well is Me

Title: The Girl in the Well is Me
Author: Karen Rivers
Genre: realistic fiction
Similar books: How to Fly with Broken Wings by Jane Elson
                     Into the Forest by Louis Nowra
interesting, but gives me pause

Summary(provided by publisher): Newcomer Kammie Summers has fallen into a well during a (fake) initiation into a club whose members have no intention of letting her join. Now Kammie's trapped in the dark, growing increasingly claustrophobic, and waiting to be rescued—or possibly not.
As hours pass, the reality of Kammie's predicament mixes with her memories of the highlights and lowlights of her life so far, including the reasons her family moved to this new town in the first place. And as she begins to run out of oxygen, Kammie starts to imagine she has company, including a French-speaking coyote and goats that just might be zombies.

My opinion: This is not the first book I've read with a surrealist, disjointed narration. Those other books, though, are written with a teen audience in mind. This book is clearly meant for a younger middle grade audience, an age where you're only just starting to analyze books, interpret symbolism, explore more complex cause and effect. Half of the plot of this book borders on hallucination, al a 128 Hours but with a kid. That's a seriously hard sell. The intent is good, with Kammie examining what led her to this place and what choices she could make differently in the future. In execution it is ambitious but impractical.

Advance Reader Copy provided by  NetGalley.

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