Sunday, May 3, 2009

Review: The Queen of Everything

Title: The Queen of Everything
Author: Deb Caletti
Publication date: March 25th, 2008

High school junior Jordan MacKenzie's life was pretty typical: fractured family, new boyfriend, dead-end job. She'd been living with her father (the predictable optometrist) since her mother (the hippie holdover) had been too embarrassing to be around. Jordan felt like she finally had as normal a life as she could. But then came Gayle D'Angelo.

Jordan knew her father was dating Gayle, and that Gayle was married. Jordan knew it was wrong, and that her father was becoming someone she didn't recognize anymore, but what could she do about it? And how could she -- how could anyone -- have possibly guessed that this illicit love affair would implode in such a violent and disturbing way?
I'd heard great things about Deb Caletti's other books, so I decided to try this one. I ended up having mixed feelings about it. I didn't really start to get into it until about the 5th chapter, when the plot really began, and just when I started to get really into a certain part, it would jump to something completely different. It seemed to me that the writing jumped around a lot, which was kind of hard to follow sometimes. One minute it would be talking about Jordan's father having an affair, and the next minute it would jump to Jordan being with her grandfather at his gas station, and then suddenly Jordan's best friend was having problems with her facial hair. It also seemed like there were too many major things going on: Jordan's father messing around with a married woman, Jordan's grandfather dying, Jordan's father getting in trouble with the law, etc. If I hadn't read the back cover prior to reading this, I don't think I would have been able to pick out the main idea of the book.

I disliked Jordan's relationship with Kale. She called him her boyfriend a few times, but the way it was written it seemed that she hated him. He was a complete ass (forcing her to have sex with him? killing innocent animals?) yet she kept hanging out with him. Then she would wonder why she did so, and the whole time I was thinking how stupid the whole thing was. If I was around anyone who acted like Kale, I would have stopped talking to him in an instant. It seemed he only made Jordan's problems worse, and I really just didn't understand their "relationship".
Another thing I didn't understand was how Jackson would just keep popping up out of nowhere when Jordan needed him. I know that he was supposed to be a mysterious kind of guy and all, but seriously? He just happens to be sitting in his truck on the other side of the island, or in a town that's 3 hours away on the mainland, because he knows that she'll be there and need his assistance? It was so unrealistic to me.
I really wanted to like this book, and besides those few things, it was a good read. But it didn't completely live up to my expectations. I'd recommend it to you if you wanted a fun book because you had nothing else to read. I mean, it wasn't horrible and I don't regret reading it, but I don't know if I'd read it again. I feel like I'm complaining about it more than I should - it wasn't THAT bad. It did have memorable parts in it that I really liked. Just don't go into this book expecting that you'll be able to follow everything or fully understand it, because it was kind of hard at times.

Characters: 8/10
Plot: 7/10
Originality: 7/10
Writing: 6/10
Overall grade: C


Lalaland said...

This was probably the only book out of her other books that I didn't understand some parts of it.

Catt said...

I think you might like HONEY, BABY, SWEETHEART better or WILD ROSES. Those are my favorites of hers so... yeah =) Great review!!

Anonymous said...

Her books take a little while to get into but they're pretty good after you do. :)