Monday, January 31, 2011
Review: Three Quarters Dead
Author: Richard Peck
Publisher: Dial (October 28, 2010)
Summary: Kerry is chosen by the coolest clique in school and so she thinks life has finally begun. But then it seems all over when her three friends are killed in a shocking car accident. Or are they? Only weeks after the accident, Kerry receives a text from one of the girls: We're all 3 here at my aunt's in the city. Take the 3:50 train. B there.
Exhilarating, terrifying suspense is crossed with a thought-provoking examination of peer pressure in Richard Peck's return to his contemporary teen- and ghost-story roots. This is a master author's gift to the Gossip Girl/Twilight generation: his own smart, stylish, and fun take on the paranormal.
First Impressions: Eh. This book definitely did not win me over. I found the plot uneven, the characters unsympathetic and the style stilted. I don't like to be harsh, but I had a strong negative reaction to this one. It was a fast read, and suspenseful in points, though.
Plot: A friendless sophomore is plucked from obscurity and befriended by the three coolest upperclassmen girls at her school. They take advantage of her terrible self-esteem and desperation for friends to have her execute a cruel prank, and then are all killed in a car wreck. Kerry goes back to being friendless, until the night of prom, when her late friends call her up for one last night on the town...
I found the plot muddled and poorly explained. The logic behind the return of the girls, the reasoning behind the "terrible prank"... at the end of the book my reaction was an annoyed "Really?!"
Characters: Ugh. Kerry's desperation was just unpleasant to read. Neediness just seeped off the page, and while I know not every character needs to be likable I just really could not stand her. Kerry's one friend from middle school has moved away, so she spends lunch hour pretending to talk on the phone with her while listening in to the popular girls' conversation. We never get any inkling of any kind of personality for Kerry - it drove me nuts. Tanya, the super cool and powerful leader of the trio, is too cool, and both boring and unrealistic for a teenage girl.
Style: As I just mentioned, the trio just do not come off as teenage girls. The language and style seem out of place for a group of high school students. I couldn't settle into the world of the book - I kept being jarred out by the awkwardness.
Wrap up: My first strongly negative review of the blog... kind of sad to see it happen! I can't even compliment the cover, as it is pretty bad too.