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An editor and avid reader gives her frank thoughts about everything she reads. More reviews and book blather on fefferbooks.com!

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If I Should Die
Amy Plum
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Sarah's Key

Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay Eh. Plot was an A, writing about a B-. It got better as the book went on (or maybe I was just better distracted by the plot?), but I generally found de Rosnay's writing style mildly irritating. There was one section of the book, in particular, in which the portions written in Julia's voice were so filled with sentences of exactly the same, short, choppy length that I thought I'd go insane. But it wasn't consistent enough to appear to be Julia's "voice." It was just distracting and odd. de Rosnay's also a fan of my least favorite literary device, the subjectless sentence. I don't mind it once in a while, but when every other period ought to be a comma, we have a problem. Also, the convention of leaving "the girl" and her family nameless until nearly halfway through the book got in its own way after a point. Additionally, it ended at a strange spot. I understood why it might have made sense to leave her unnamed throughout the description of the vel' d'Hiv, so that she might have been any child, and her story might have been that of any of the nearly 10,000 who went through that horrific experience. But if that was the reasoning (and I can't imagine any other function), it would have made far more sense to be done with it and reveal her name once she and Rachel left, and Sarah's story became very much her own. Waiting until later than that was just overkill.