Monday, July 5, 2010

Book Review - The Tenth Circle

I've been reading way too much.

So I just finished The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult, and I have to say that I was pretty disappointed. She's my favorite author, and while I normally lament the fact that her books plots are predictable, she strayed from her usual controversial - court trial formula and it didn't quite work.

The premise of this book is that a 14 year old girl gets raped by her ex-boyfriend, and an ensuing torment of the victim at school and a huge press scandal results in a small Maine town. It was a real page-turner until just a little over halfway, where she uses up her :gasp: twist too early.

That being said, I really fell in love with one of the characters, Daniel, the victim's father. He was a comic book artist that was married to a Dante "Inferno" college professor (the victim's mom) - his latest project, inspired by his daughter, is a comic book illustration themed around Dante's levels of hell, and Picoult includes comic book pages into the novel, which were really cool. She was brilliant with the dynamic characters as always and she weaves the intricate complexities of a developing storyline beautifully. However, while the whole concept of the book had a lot of potential, it never really delivered.

What I felt was lacking was the usual "kick", as her biggest twist happened in the middle of the novel, and I felt myself dragging to the final predictable "twist" at the end. (Well, maybe not predictable, but I for some reason had a feeling about it...) That, I didn't like how the character Daniel had run away from Alaska because he hated growing up with the natives so much, but then Picoult belabored Eskimo stories and culture into nearly every one of his thought processes. Annoying. I wasn't too crazy about his daughter and wife's characters, either - I found both to be very whiny in contrast to Daniel. But hey, that's me.

Bottom Line: Okay read, I have liked her other books better. It was a refreshing attempt at a new direction for her, but slightly frustrating and ultimately unsatisfying.

As always, if you have read the book, let me know what you think!

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