Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Zig Zag

Ellen Wittlinger's novel Zig Zag is an interesting mix of different genres, so much so that I am putting it on the "You Tell Me" classification shelf in the library. I just finished it and can't really tell.

At first I thought it would be a typical teen romance about Robin, an Iowa teen whose boyfriend Chris was going to Rome for the summer. Robin is extremely dependent on Chris but agrees to take a cross-country road trip with her mourning aunt and two wild cousins.

Fairly quickly, the plot shifts away from Robin's uneasy relationship with Chris to her new connections with her cousins. This is better for Robin's well-being, but worse for the reader who has to spend the rest of the book learning about the insufferable Iris and Marshall. Just reading about the cousins was so excruciating, that I am amazed that Robin didn't grab the wheel and steer them into a tree! Seriously, these characters are repulsive and they stay that way for far too long.

I wish that the novel had focused more on Robin's self-actualization and growing independence from Chris. Like Robin, I found myself eagerly waiting for more letters from Chris so I could read about a plotline that interested me. I won't be recommending this book to anyone any time soon.

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