Tuesday, 8 October 2013

GoodRead - Lake Thirteen

I'm not sure what made me request this from NetGalley. I can't honestly remember. I think I read the synopsis and it either made me laugh or I went "we have a gay lead" (something rare, I feel, in YA). So when I was accepted, I knew I wanted to read this near Halloween.

So, now we're in the month of October, it's safe to take about this. So, here we go:

Scotty is dreading this holiday. Every year, his family go on holiday with two other families (friends of his parents). Scotty, who has just come out, is scared of how his friends will react and is worried about leaving his boyfriend behind. So when the five teens decide to make a late night visit to a graveyard close to their cabins, they don't realise that something might awaken and takes an interest in Scotty...

*takes deep breath* I am in going to write the pros to this book first before I go onto the negatives as I have a few and I think you should read the pros first.  It was a fast read (just checked on Amazon, is over 160 pages long) and there were moments in the book that was tense and spooky. And seeing as it is Halloween, spooky is the name of the game.

However, I have faults. There are several faults I have with this book, but it really comes under one umbrella: execution. While the story had interesting potential, the execution wasn't up to scratch. Some of the language used felt "off" and it would grate on me and, because of that, it would throw me out of the story. We, also, have information overload problems.  For example, we spend several pages in chapter one getting to know a character - his name, he's doing an internship with a TV ghost hunting show, his dad runs a TV company, the fact his parents have given him a personal trainer [for reasons Scotty's mom guesses] - and yet, most of this information ISN'T NEEDED! And all this information is in the FIRST CHAPTER! This isn't needed, if it was, then spread it out throughout the entire story. Us readers prefer this rather than one huge info-dump.

And now I come to think of it, I wanna talk quickly about Scotty and him being gay. I want to read more books with gay characters being the main character, being the lead. I think this is needed in YA and in New Adult. But I feel like I never knew Scotty that well, and when I did, all I know about him is that Scotty is gay. That's it. His family and friends tell him throughout the book that him being gay isn't a big deal - but it feels like it does as we're constantly being told that Scotty is gay and it's not a big deal. And with the ghost story, I was reading it as "Scotty is being haunted by a ghost", so why do I get the feeling that it was meant to be "Scotty, the gay teen, is being haunted by a gay ghost"? YOUR SEXUALITY DOESN'T DEFINE YOU AS A PERSON! So why do I feel like the lead in this book was being defined by his sexuality?

Maybe I'm reading too much into this.

Because of all the faults, I feel that if the book was longer, it might not have been a problem. I mean, it's a 160-odd pages long. If there was an extra hundred pages, I could have got character development. I could have got to know the characters and the situation better. Issues that were bought up could have been addressed.

Because of all the faults, I can't enjoy or like this book as much as I want to. Which is a shame as there was potential here.

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