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Undone by Brooke Taylor

December 2, 2008

undone1Now this is one of the reasons I love being a Cybils panelist. If Undone hadn’t been nominated, I’m almost positive I wouldn’t have read it. Which definitely would have been a shame. Because the flap copy and Library of Congress description make the book seem so much drier, so much less than the book really is. Not to mention that they also make the book seem a lot more sentimental and much tamer than it really is. (Translation: drinking, drugs, smoking, and references to sex included.) They are accurate, broadly speaking, but they just don’t convey the, I don’t know, power? rawness? altogether awesomeness? of what actually comprises Brooke Taylor‘s Undone.

Much like Nancy Crocker’s Billie Standish Was Here (one of last years would-have-bypassed-it-but-was-a-Cybils-nominee-so-I-read-it-and-OMG-freaking-loved-it books), this is a book I’m hesitant to describe in detail, plot-wise. First, because I don’t want to give anything away. Second, because I don’t think I’d do it justice. Because as with Billie Standish, what I liked about Undone was not so much the plot. It was the characters. The relationships. The emotions. The voice. Anthony Beck. Plus, the visceral sense of chemistry between Serena and Becks.

So here’s my one-sentence plot teaser for Undone: Serena doesn’t know why Kori Kitzler, newly transformed into the school bad girl, befriended her two years ago, but her life hasn’t been the same since.

I don’t love Undone anywhere near as much as I love Billie Standish. For one thing, I think it was a bit too long and would have been more powerful if it was a little shorter and some of the subplots cut. Also, ** spoiler! spoiler! highlight if you want to read ** I don’t understand why it was so important that we know about Serena’s computer hacking skills, since it added nothing to the plot and actually made no sense in the context of the story. I mean, if Serena’s got such mad hacking skillz, why couldn’t she do some hacking to discover who shaym was? or find out where Kori was the summer before 8th grade? Okay, the latter would be a huge invasion of privacy, but after Kori was dead? Easily something a friend could be driven to do. ** end spoilers ** Flaws aside, though, Undone was so much more than I was expecting, and I can’t wait to see what Brooke Taylor’s next book will be like. In the meantime, if you’re a fan of Jay Asher or a fan of Melissa Marr and don’t mind if there are no faeries, you need to give this one a try.

This book is a Cybils YA Fiction nominee and has been reviewed by Leila (whose review made me ignore the flap copy and just start reading the book. So, thanks!)

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2008 1:56 am

    I love the title — but I wasn’t leaning toward being terribly interested ’til Leila was all excited!! That’s pretty funny.

  2. Becky permalink
    December 3, 2008 4:34 pm

    I really like the way you did the spoiler. I have not seen it done that way before and thought it was very original and practical. I also enjoyed the review and have added Undone to my list of books to read.

  3. Valerie permalink
    December 3, 2008 6:26 pm

    I had heard about this book before but didn’t really think it sounded like something I’d like. After reading that review, I’m thinking about giving it a try.

    Love the blog, btw. 🙂

  4. December 5, 2008 3:14 pm

    Becky – I can’t take credit for the spoiler format since I first saw it used on a message board. But it works for me since the post background is white and the spoiler part is still hidden for people who read the blog on their feed reader.

    Hope everyone enjoys the book!


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