Welcome to my blog. I often think I was born with a book in my hand. I have always enjoyed reading, but more importantly, talking about books. This blog is partially about reviews, but is really a forum to talk about what I'm reading, and express all of the thoughts and feelings that there simply isn't room for in a professional review. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on your favourite books as you follow my reading journey.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Review: She Said/She Saw by Norah McClintock

17-year-olds Kelly and Tegen are sisters, born 10 months apart, but as different as night and day. Kelly looks at life like a movie, while Tegen sees hers as an epic romance novel. Kelly is the more serious girl, while Tegen likes to party with her friends. What they do have in common is a general dislike for one another.

One night, while in the backseat of her best bud (but potential boyfriend) Martin's car, Martin and their friend Clark are shot dead in front of her. What did Tegen see that night? Is it possible that she's telling the truth and she honestly didn't see what happened, or is there more to the story that she's not telling. What Tegen said vs what she saw makes up the title of this book, and it's the basis for the mystery.

Norah McClintock is the reigning mystery queen with Canadian kids, and she tells a good story. Kelly and Tegen alternate points of view, with Kelly's view being presented in flim script form, and Tegen's in first person point of view. Kelly's observations are recorded by speaking directly to the camera which fill the reader in on details which Tegen witholds. As Kelly points out, there is always an added element to any story, and that's what's in the head of the teller.  Tegen is the perfect example of an unreliable narrator. There are things she doesn't know, and things she chooses not to tell. This makes Kelly's sections all the more important, because what she knows is instrumental in solving the mystery of what happened that night.

I also liked the depiction of Tegen's gradual isolation and shunning by her peers. Everybody seemed to believe that she was deliberately not telling what she saw, and it's an accurate depiction of how quickly high school kids can turn on one another. I felt her lonlieness and confusion, and while I wasn't 100% sure that she was telling the truth initially, I was swayed into believing her and feeling sorry for her.

The part I didn't like was the way the mystery was resolved at the end. In hindsight, there was a clue early in the novel that hinted at who might be responsible for the crime, but the detective work was shoddy, and I didn't quite buy they way everything wrapped up. I like a good twist in a mystery, but I didn't feel like this really worked. Everything happened very quickly, and it was too polar opposite from where the story seemed to be going.

Overall, it was a suspenseful and fast-paced read, and I was anxious to finish it. There is some marijuana use and swearing, so it's probably better suited for a high school reader than middle-school.