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03 December 2008


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It's funny that you can have no connection to the characters and still give the book a good review. A lesser reviewer would have ripped it for that, and the balance you portray is why I like coming here.

I've never understood the hoopla over LHA books, for that similar reason -- I feel no pull toward her characters, at all. Trust me, I've tried. It just isn't there. For me, the characters are the only reason I bother with a book, so thank you from sparing me from having to slog through this and wonder why everyone adores this writer but me.

(kudos to her for the National Book Award nom, anyway. To each his own. though I often wonder if "name" authors get a free ride sometimes -- people expect them to be good and give them the benefit of all kinds of doubt. i felt a twinge of this reading john green's last book, too, no real motivation for the mc to find margo, and no concrete motivation for margo to leave elaborate clues and "want" for this kid she hasn't talked to since she was nine, to find her. i have a feeling if he hadn't written the stellar LFA first reviewers would've killed him for that lack of character motivation.)


I had the same frustration with the sudden ending, and, I think, the same lack of connection. I do feel it with Melinda in Speak, but less so with other LHA characters.


While I can empathize with your not feeling anything for the characters (I too felt that way about the characters in "Twisted" and "Catalyst", and to a lesser extent, Melinda in "Speak" and Mattie in "Fever 1793"), I didn't feel the same way about Isabel (Sal) in "Chains". Her character spoke to me, in the way she protected her sister, remembered her mother and her history, tried to keep her dignity (and her temper) and kept her wits about her in this remarkable story of the Revolutionary War. I think the characters in Twisted and Catalyst reminded me too much of characters in other books who although they do change by the end of the book, seem much more contrived and unfortunately contemporary - Isabel's character was strong, passionate, and eager to learn, even at her young age. Thought I usually much prefer something more modern, this book really spoke to me and Anderson's writing gets better with every book. I can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy because like the author of this blog, it was a "couldn't put it down" er.

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