Friday, July 13, 2012

Abandoned Novels in Verse

Not all novels in verse are for me. These are a few that I have abandoned recently.

If the point of Allan Wolf's Zane's Trace is to imitate the mental instability of the main character, it is successful. Zane's life is difficult: he has a seizure condition, his mother killed herself, and he believes he killed his grandfather. He decides to travel in a stolen 1969 Plymouth Barracuda to his mother's hometown to kill himself. Along the way he meets a bossy girl named Libba and a host of mysterious characters. That was where Wolf lost me; the mystical appearances worked my nerves and neither Zane nor Libba were interesting enough to hold my attention. This one was returned to the library, unfinished.

I've been told that if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. But as a book reviewer and teacher, I think it's important to share when a book doesn't work for me. Heaven Is A Lot Like The Mall is one of those books. Tessa is probably the only person to ever be killed by a dodgeball, and her afterlife ends up being the mall where she spent most of her life. There, in a nod to A Christmas Carol, Tessa is forced to review her life and learn that she should be a better person. At least, that's where I assume it was going, but I found Tessa to be so repugnant that I couldn't finish the novel. Unless an author is Charles Dickens, it's probably a good idea to skip writing an entire book about the negative qualities of the main character. I won't be recommending this, even to Wendy Mass fans.


  1. Thanks for the heads up! I hadn't heard of Zane's Trace but I'll be sure to steer clear. I also abandoned Heaven Looks A Lot Like the Mall, very unoriginal and uninteresting.

  2. I forgot to tell you! I don't know if you've already heard of it or not but I discovered this awesome new blog today dedicated to novels in verse. I thought you might like it =) Here's the link:

  3. Ooh, awesome! Thanks for sharing, I will check it out now.


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