August 3, 2013

Review: Ghost Time by Courtney Eldridge

Title: Ghost Time (Saccades Trilogy #1)
Author: Courtney Eldridge
Release Date: June 11th, 2013
Publisher: Skyscape
Page Count: 418
Source: Literary Lush ARC Tour
Rating: DNF
Thea Denny hates the tenth grade, and her home life isn't easy. But she's passionate about making art — and about her math-genius boyfriend, Cam, a recent transfer to her upstate New York high school from California. One day Cam mysteriously vanishes — and then things really get weird. The stars on the school flag go missing, eerily cut out. Intimate videos of Cam and Thea start going viral online — videos they never took. The FBI gets involved. And Thea can hear the voice of Melody, a beautiful, disabled girl her age, whose illness has left her mute since birth. Cam once claimed to be the world's foremost hacker... Is he trying to reach her, send her a sign — or is Thea losing her mind?

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

Thea's boyfriend, Cam, goes missing. Then all this weird stuff starts to happen and Thea beings to realize that all those times Cam joked about being a world-class hacker? Well, he wasn't really joking, she just wasn't taking him seriously enough. Oh, and as all of this is happening, the reader is following the narration back and forth through time with the day Cam went missing as the stationary starting point.

Let's break this down:

Why did I DNF this book? Well, there are a bunch of reasons.
  • I didn't really understand where this book was going based on the summary. Cam goes missing and then what? I'm sure if I kept reading I would have figured it out - this is a series, after all - but I'm not sure I totally care. I guess I sort of felt bad for Thea, but I got the feeling Cam wasn't coming back and so I wasn't sure if I could do anything for Thea aside form feel bad for her. That's not a story I want to read. 
  • I had a hard time connecting to Thea beyond feeling bad for her because of the way the story's written. So what's wrong with the way the story's written? Well, there's no conventional dialogue. Which is to say, there are no quotations in the whole book, just Thea telling you what everyone's saying. Considering I read 80 or so pages before I gave up (I can't be sure because this book also didn't have page numbers) I think this tactic might work for a short story, but once the plot begins to thicken, this gets a little difficult to follow. Especially when you have a plot that's based on computer hacking and the nuances of the way time works. All of that is very complex and the lack of conventional dialogue does nothing to break it down for the Humanities Major I happen to be.
  • THERE ARE NO PAGE NUMBERS. Maybe this is an ARC thing, but it was so annoying I cannot even tell you. I'm too neurotic to not know how many pages I've read and how many pages are left to be read.

I dunno. For a while I was intrigued by this no dialogue thing and open ended plot. I even put aside my OCD and focused on the time stamps (the moment Cam goes missing is the jumping off point. All of the chapters after that are either "1 day before" or "3 days later"). But after a while I just couldn't figure out what the heck was going on or grasp where this book might be going. So I - sadly - stopped reading. Thea, I hope you find Cam. But I just don't want to read about it, even if you do.

The long and short of it?

World Building: I'm not totally sure if all this weird computer stuff in this book can actually happen...
Character Development: I don't think I read long enough to see any character development...
Prose: Apparently I cannot read a whole book with no formal dialogue. A short story, maybe, but definitely not a whole book.
Would I Recommend This Book?: If you want to try something totally different in structure, this book is for you. I was into it at first, but after a while it became too much for me. YOU, however, might like it, so know yourself and read if you so desire.

Have you read this one? Could YOU read past what bothered me? Let me know in the comments below!

1 comment:

  1. I remember you telling us about this book at the beach! It seriously sounds like the most confusing book EVER. I don't know how you managed 80 pages!


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