Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review #1588 Anthem for Jackson Dawes by Celia Bryce

Review: #1588
Book: Anthem for Jackson Dawes
Author: Celia Bryce
Rating: one star (out of four)
Release date: Apr. 30, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 240
Source: NetGalley

It’s really hard to get excited for a book about cancer patients. Especially KID cancer patients. But I was intrigued by the premise on NetGalley and figured I needed another excuse to curl up at home and sob.

I’ve only read a few books that I would consider “good” (for lack of a better word, maybe, “poignant” or “heart-breakingly-bittersweet”?) cancer books. Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie and The Fault in Our Stars being the primary two. So it’s kind of hard to top those two books, (which, if you haven’t read them, you should. What are you doing reading the rest of this lackluster review? Grab some Kleenex and those two books!) but like I said, I was intrigued by the short description online.

I thought this story was hollow. I didn’t think the characters were well-rounded and I wanted more interaction from EVERYONE. I never felt like I was scratching the surface of their REAL emotions and struggles. Nobody felt real. I was annoyed with most of the conversations because they seemed like placeholders for real conversations that were taking place elsewhere. The story was predictable and I didn’t like the characters. It fell flat - there wasn’t a lot of depth behind motives or actions throughout the story and I kept waiting for the novel to actually do something.

I was mostly annoyed with the way the story was told. It seemed like it was trying to hit so many standard points and in doing so failed to tell the real story. It was trying so hard to be THAT life-affirming-cancer-book and it wasn’t even close. I was not impressed with the story, the characters, the relationships, or the ending. It was mainly “blah” and didn’t feel completed. I wouldn't recommend.

*ARC generously provided through NetGalley by publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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