I have suspected all along that I am quite stylish and so ahead of the trends as to actually appear un-stylish because people can’t keep up with me. I have not yet received confirmation on that matter. I did however receive a lovely award from the equally lovely Aimee of My Fluttering Heart because my blog has been stylish, which is equally good to hear.
We can all admire the award together before I provide my own nominations for stylish blogs:
I’m pleased as punch to receive such lovely comments from Aimee, and am fortunate to have other lovely blogs that I read which are totally deserving of such a stylish honor (and perhaps they will have other stylish blogs to point you to as well!).
- I’ve become a big fan of Dog Ear recently–and not just because I often agree with Nicole’s opinions. Her reviews are short, sweet, and most importantly, insightful. All must haves for a blogger to be stylish.
- I remember being very proud of myself the first time I noticed the same image on two book covers. I was equally excited to find Jacket Whys which discusses the ins and outs of YA and Children’s book jackets.
- A good, short, review is hard to find. I enjoy Marian’s List because it’s got a clean layout that doesn’t detract from book covers, Marian updates a lot (because she reads a lot!), and the reviews are cogent and to the point.
- Lindsy isn’t a book blogger, but she is a librarian. And lindsy in the city is super stylish with all of the cool pictures Lindsy posts in her cool posts that I never feel cool enough to comment on.
- Couture Cherie is one of my favorite people in the world, and I know she has the potential to be a super fabulous stylish blogger if she wants to. Perhaps this award will inspire her?
There is an important distinction that needs to be made clear before proceeding to the actual review of Victor Lodato’s debut novel Mathilda Savitch (2009): Some books are classified as young adult novels (books written for teenagers) because they capture some vital aspect of the adolescent experience. Other books might have a teen-aged protagonist but they are still very much an adult novel (a book written for adults) because of the voice or attitude of the book.
I am 99% certain that Mathilda Savitch falls into the latter category. And that’s fine. But this review is written very much because of the fact that I spend a lot of time reading young adult novels.
Mathilda wants desperately to be awful. Not just bad, but truly awful. She hurts things, even things she loves. As Mathilda will readily tell you, awful is easy if you make it your one and only.
It might seem that she is a spoiled child (I believe thirteen years old, but perhaps twelve) looking for attention and excitement. But really, Mathilda is living in the aftermath of a tragedy.
I have a sister who died. Did I tell you this already? I did but you don’t remember, you didn’t understand the code.
A year ago, Mathilda’s beautiful, perfect sister died. Helene’s death is shrouded in uncertainty. Her parents won’t speak of it, won’t unearth her possessions or open her room. Mathilda will tell you the details she knows. But it’s not enough.
Mathilda won’t stop investigating until she has the full truth about Helene’s death–a search that unfolds a secret life she never would have imagined.
The writing in Mathilda Savitch can be quite intricate. Lodato is clearly talented. But Mathilda herself is utterly unconvincing as a teen (almost child really) narrator. Her voice is too mature and her thoughts too bizarre. The tone here is very similar to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon–but even the narrator there was seventeen.
Lacking a narrator that I found convincing, it was impossible to really get into the story or particularly invested in the characters. Mathilda Savitch felt like it was trying to be something different than what the writing dictated, a problem that made the book seem at odds with itself and unconvincing, possibly as a result of having a teen character at the center of what is ultimately an adult book.