*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Monday, January 7, 2013

"You Have Seven Messages" by Stewart Lewis

You Have Seven Messages
I don't quite know what to make of this book.  I was struck by the initial plot- Luna discovers the cell phone belonging to her deceased mother and makes her way through the seven unheard voicemails to piece together the events leading up to her mother's death.  That is what caught my interest.  That what the book jacket claims the book is about.  But this is really a only a part of the plot in the novel.  Even after she listens to all of the messages and seems to comes to terms with the situations leading up to her mother's death, Luna's story doesn't end.  The novel had several moments where it felt like the novel was about to wrap up nicely.  But instead it kept going and going.  I was looking forward to reading this book, but didn't thoroughly enjoy the experience.

There were several things that I struggled with regarding Stewart Lewis' You Have Seven Messages.  The first being Luna's age.  From the cover, I couldn't help but imagine Luna as being an older teen (before I began to read, I assumed she would be around 17-19 years old) and was quite surprised to find out that she was fourteen at the start of the novel.  The more I read, the more I would forget that she was fourteen (or fifteen as the novel progressed) and in my head she would appear to be nine or so.  Her actions were surprising for someone her age.  I could almost believe that she was able to spend so much time unsupervised, almost.  I also thought that she wasn't very believable as a character.  This made more sense when I realized that the book wasn't penned by a woman and why so many of the scenes (especially those with the love interest, Oliver) came across as awkward and unnatural.  But the thing that got to me the most, was just how long this novel was.  It's not overly long in page length, but it doesn't resolve itself (in my opinion) in a timely manner.  I think had it been titled something regarding Luna's promising photo career then it would have kept my attention better.  But since I was expecting a story more focused on her finding out details of her mother's death, I was turned off when that wasn't the main focus of the story.  I try hard to not judge a book off it's cover, but it's kind of disappointing when I read the description of a book but the plot delivers a story completely different than what I am expecting (now I need to read These Girls, since they have the same cover).

If you read this book: don't expect a total focus on Luna's life without her mother.  Do expect a story about a teenager finding her own way and trying to get there by taking her own path, not because of her parents successful careers.

Happy Reading!

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