Thursday, November 2, 2017

Review of Leta Blake's "You Are Not Me"

Masterfully told, excellently crafted, will leave you begging for book three.

A worthy follow-on to Book One. The cast of characters widens, and we meet new characters, such as Daniel, undergoing transformation. Characters already in the mix, such as Renee and Adam, are highlighted for continued transformation. Perhaps Renee is not transformed, but our view of her certainly is, which may be just as important. We learn about many characters' relationships with Peter; their views of him, and interactions with him, that help inform our understanding of the narrator.

Peter's mother undergoes change, and we gain more understanding of her than we had from the first book. Adam's transformation from doubtful to confirmed scuzzball abuser is complete.

In addition to coming-of-age tales, I am addicted to ensemble stories, in which there may be a central character or narrator, but the ensemble itself acts as character, illuminating the story line, and dimming the spotlight on the main character from time to time. Ensemble stories require not just enormous talent, but also finely-honed skills in the crafts of  writing and story-telling. Few authors try to write ensemble stories, because they are exceedingly difficult to write, and management of plot arcs and sub-plots fails without an expert's touch. Another stumbling block to writing ensemble stories is ensuring that every character has a place, a purpose and an identity. I cannot identify a single character, regardless of how small a role, who does not meet these requirements.

Please read book one, Photos of You, first. You might as well order this second book, You Are Not Me, at the same time. If you admire writing at its finest, and love well-told stories, I promise you'll want to read the second book as soon as you've finished the first. Ms. Blake is prolific and busy, and I'm at wits' end trying to come up with an incentive for her to write Book Three. I might have to reconsider the "Kidnap and Dungeon" route.

No comments:

Post a Comment