Saturday, October 2, 2010

I Read a Book: The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June

As you may be aware, I'm having some trouble finishing my story. Instead of plowing through the last few chapters, lately I've been tweaking the other, more completed parts of my book as a form of "useful procrastination." The downside is that it has caused me to question the value of finishing the story in the first place, which I hear is normal when critiquing your own work.

So, in an attempt to improve my writing skills (and to curb my TV watching habit) , I'm setting a goal of reading one YA novel a week and reviewing it with a critical eye. It's like dating... before I was doing it for fun, but now I'm actually trying to learn more about what I like and what I don't like. All on my quest to find my ideal mate, um, I mean, book.
I decided to start with The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June, Robin Benway's second novel.

April, May, and June are sisters who are going through a lot: their parents just divorced, they've moved to a new town and are starting at a new high school, and they've discovered that they have supernatural abilities. April, the oldest and most responsible, can see the future; May, the rebellious middle sister, can become invisible; and June, the popularity-seeking youngest sister, can read minds.

I chose this novel because it's similar to my current project, and I thought it might be interesting to see how someone else approached  fantasy YA about girls with superpowers. Also, I loved the cover. Not only is it pretty, but the colors are reminiscent of the old Marvel and DC comics.

The novel rotates between the girls' perspectives, which makes it easy for the reader to find one they can relate to (I'm an April!). It's a bit like Sex and the City, in that the girls are a little one-sided, but more of archetypes than stereotypes.

Now, I don't have a sister, so maybe this is my inexperience talking, but something about the sisterly bond seemed off to me. Their interactions are minimal, even after they realize they have superpowers. I would have loved to see them sit down and try to figure out what was going on, but they were to distracted by their own drama (stemming mainly from boys and the popular crowd).

The pacing of the book is slow at times, and it sometimes feels more like contemporary YA than fantasy. Although it was different than what I was expecting, The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June was definitely a fun, and worthwhile, read.

Hardcover, 282 pages
Published August 2010

1 comment:

  1. I had never heard of this book, but now I need to check it out.

    FYI, I went to school with 3 sisters named April, May, and June. One was a Sagittarius. I dunno about the others.