Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review: Stranded by J.T. Dutton

Rating (Out of 5): 2.5
Publisher: HarperTeen

Amazon Synopsis:

My best friend, Katy, says a person with a sparkly two-part name like Kelly Louise should be guaranteed a little glamour and excitement and not be forced to move back to Mom's middle-of-nowhere hometown—now the center of a media frenzy since a farmer found an infant in his cornfield. (It just slipped from some mystery mother's body without anyone noticing.)
But Baby Grace shadows every hair flip, every wink, and is keeping me from losing my virginity, despite my dynamite new boots. Even Katy doesn't have any more good advice. The one boy around who rates anywhere near acceptable on the Maximum Man Scale only has eyes for my cousin, Natalie, who only has eyes for Jesus.
But Natalie has a secret.
Everyone is so busy burying the truth about Baby Grace, they can't see who they're burying alive.


[Contains forewarned spoilers]
I've had this waiting on my shelf for a while, and finally decided to read it. And It took me a while to get through it. It's not what I was expecting, in a mostly bad way.
It's about Kelly Louise, who has been forced to move with her mother to Heaven, a town in the middle of nowhere to live with her grandmother and cousin, for reasons her mother won't explain. She doesn't fit in with anyone in town, she misses her best friend Katy, and before she moved there a baby was found dead in a corn field, which she finds out to be [Spoiler!] her naïve, church going cousin Natalie's.
First of all, I went in with the impression that the baby was still alive, which [Spoiler!] it wasn't. That was disappointing. And I wasn't expecting Kelly Louise to be the way that she was.
It's in her point of view, and she isn't a brat or goody-two-shoes like Natalie. She's a bit out there with the way she thinks, which can be fun, and is how she is with her friend Katy. But no one in Heaven is like her at all. Except maybe Kenny, only he is in a different, rebel boy way. But the thing that bothered me about her, is that her thoughts always seemed to be all over the place. And I don't really know how to explain this, because it also kind of wasn't. She could still be talking about the same thing, not like she would start thinking about one thing which would lead to another, but it still felt all over the place. Maybe like she would be thinking about something, but then in the same paragraph talk about what people were doing around her. I don't know, but it was hard for me to read.
Which is disappointing, actually, because at other points, I didn't really mind some of the things that Kelly Louise thought about. Some of it was entertaining, even.
Natalie, also, I did not like. She was a goody-two-shoes around everyone, but she went off and did something with a boy (who I will not spoil, but who is also a bit of a jerk,) but won't fess up about it to anyone. She confesses to Kelly Louise's mother, but won't explain. And I honestly don't believe how it all happened. ([Spoiler!] I mean, really? She didn't know what was happening all the way till she went into labor? That's ridiculous. And just stupid.) She is a stupid liar and I do not like her.
Her grandmother, while strict and way too clean, I didn't mind. And there are parts of Kelly Louise's thoughts where she actually admires her, which was something that doesn't happen very often. And that was nice.
Her mother, I wasn't too big a fan of. She wasn't always there for Kelly Louise, but went to help Natalie very quickly, and then is out with guys all the time. And then she makes a big show of trying to control Kelly Louise while not being around for her much. That was totally lame.
There was very little romance in this book. Kelly Louise wants some, but is having a hard time getting any. (That sounds a little crude, and immature. Sorry 'bout that.) She crushes on one boy (who's a bit of a jerk, and is mentioned above,) then does some stuff with Kenny, who's an immature boy in a bad situation, but I could see potential of him actually becoming nice. But even the stuff between them wasn't very romantic. Or, he wasn't very romantic.
Also, while there are some religious parts to the book, because they go to church, there isn't too much of it. And Kelly Louise doesn't 'find god' or anything. I was glad it wasn't overpowering, or a main theme in the book.
The ending, wasn't very good. [Not major, but spoilers!] Things happen with Natalie, and Kenny moves, and Kelly Louise and Katy aren't really talking anymore (which is lame). She stays in Heaven, but I don't really see her getting close to anyone there. And her mom meets someone, who's brother is her principal, who is pretty awesome. But we never really see her getting closer to her mom and the guy, or things getting better for her or Natalie. It's all mostly summed up in the last chapter, which I didn't really like.
And I came out of the book, wondering what, exactly, I'd gotten out of it. (Not to say that I usually get a lot out of the other books I read, because I know they aren't all full of life lessons. I just enjoy them more than I did this one.) Wondering why I wasted so much time on it, really. So, yea, I wouldn't say I enjoyed it.

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