Friday, March 19, 2010
Alyzon Whitestarr by Isobelle Carmody
"Alyzon Whitestarr doesn't take after her musically talented father or her nocturnal, artistic mother. In fact, she’s the most normal member of a very eccentric family . . . until the day that an accident leaves her more unique than she ever could have dreamed.
Suddenly colors are more vibrant to Alyzon; her memory is flawless; but strangest of all is Alyzon’s sense of smell. Her best friend smells of a comforting sea breeze. She registers her father’s contentment as the sweet scent of caramelized sugar. But why does the cutest guy in school smell so rancid?
With Alyzon’s extrasensory perception comes intrigue and danger, as she becomes aware of the dark secrets and hidden ambitions that threaten her family. In the end, being different might be less of a blessing than a curse. . . ." -Goodreads.com
There are so many things to say about this book, and I'm not sure where to start so I'll just dive right in. The very first thing that I noticed at the beginning was the author's writing style. It was a almost a mix between Adrienne Maria Vrettos and Barbara Kingsolver, in the aspect that Carmody seemed to add in little bits and pieces about the background of the person and their childhood/life that weren't necessary to the story but nice to read anyway. Like actually looking in on a person's life, because in real life not everything is crucial to the main story of your life. And I love it when authors are able to capture that without making it seem long and dreary.
Unfortunately, the book still seemed to go a little long. Five-hundred pages that told a great story, but sometimes took it's time getting there. I found myself skipping over a particularly long paprgraph here and there that just seemed to hold excessive detail about the setting, or maybe explaining the MCs thoughts more than once.
However, there were a couple of really interesting ideas in there that needed the extra explanations. As one of those people that likes to think about things like this, I found these especially intriguing. One idea that came up as a key point in the book was that cruelty is actually a sickness, like the flu or something, that some people get infected with and from there spread to other people. which, taking that a step farther, means that it can also be cured like any other sickness, if you find the right thing to counter it. How amazing would that be?
The other cool thing that got me thinking throughout this book was the idea that animals communicate through scent; that humans used to be able to do it too, but learned to rely too heavily on the tongue for communication and eventually repressed the ability. Doesn't that just boggle your mind?
Happy Factor: 3/5
Other books by Isobelle Carmody: Obernewtyn, Darkfall, The Gathering, Night Gate