Sunday, 21 March 2010

Vibes by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Pub.Date: October 6th 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 249
Format: Hardcover
Source Of Copy: from the publisher - Houghton Mifflin

Nothing is beyond Kristi Carmichael's disdain—her hippie high school, her friend Jacob, her workaholic mom. Yet for all her attitude and her mind-reading abilities, Kristi has a vulnerable side. She can hear the thoughts of her fellow students, calling her fat and gross. She's hot for Gusty Peterson, one of the most popular guys in school, but of course, she's sure he thinks she is disgusting. And she's still mad at her father, who walked out on them two years ago. Soon, a school project brings her together with Gusty, her father comes home and drops a bombshell, and a friend comes out of the closet, and suddenly she is left doubting that she can read people at all. Bitingly funny but ultimately poignant and positive, this YA novel is completely on the mark.

Compelling in an unusual way, Vibes is a book that's more than just a story about a semi-psychic teenager who's trying to understand what's going on with her life. Written with such wit and creativeness, Vibes makes a nice read for fans of temporary fictions and paranormal together.

My first impression of this book is that the narrator's voice is very straightforward in fun. It lures me in just in a first few paragraphs. Even though everything revolves around a teen with a special ability, I feel like there's nothing different much between her and a normal one. The author has a nice way of introducing each and every character, making everything seem random you cannot tell who is going to distribute a major part to the story. That keeps me guessing and guessing, thus I'm even more excited to find out the rest.

It's an irony that though the whole story isn't composed of many happenings or has a real climax, I cannot take my eyes of Vibes. It's just natural nice to read. I also find it strange that sometimes it's as if the book just reports what Kristi does everyday (repeatedly she goes to school, talk to her friends/cause trouble, goes home), not once does it sound boring to me. Having said it all, there's still something that stands out: the school project Kristi and Gusty do together. Simple tasks help reveal a lot about both and the story of their past.

Most of the characters in the book aren't typical ones, they'll give you some refreshment. Because Kristi's mind-reading is frustrating somehow, the readers don't have many clues of how the other characters are. It surprises me as the end nears and things start to come into light. I love Kristi. She might not be contented with her look and her family but she's still very confident and unique in her own way. I also take a liking to a few characters, but I won't say it as it might spoil everything. Go read and find out yourself.

To sum up. Everyone should give Vibes a try. You'll like it more than you expect, I'm sure.

Rating: 4/5