Friday, December 05, 2008

boyheaven by Kasischke

This was first reviewed by MM in September. Because it got great reviews, I wanted to read it too. Ok so here goes, MM already gave a summary of the plot so I won't. This is meant to be an urban legend. It says so in the first pages. As a scary true story told around a campfire and past on again and again, it could work. But its too thin for a full length novel. Its hard to keep in mind that this is supposed to be scary. Instead all the fleshing out makes it seem more like typical chick lit. The surprise ending is a long time coming. At least it was for me. Maybe it wouldn't be for kids who like Lite reading though and its basically a tight plot. Kasischke is a poet and I like the poetic flow of the words. I like much of the description though some of it gets a little silly. One of my favorites is "blackened drama of a burnt marshmallow". Also, I suspect most of it is done in an attempt to make the story longer. Joyce Carol Oates retells in fiction form tragedies that actually occurred such as the Chappaquiddick tragedy. So perhaps that's where her positive review came from? Or, maybe she is trying to help a struggling new author. This isn't a terrible story but its not a great one either. The legendary Dorothy Broderick, founder of VOYA magazine once cautioned reviewers not to review negatively books that may have an audience in readers looking for uncomplicated reads, perhaps that applies here. I couldn't help but remember reading Sweet Valley High when I was plodding through this. JDW 12/5

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