Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers

Dying to Know You 

Dying to Know You follows the story of Karl as he struggles to find himself. It's told through the perspective of a famous author in his late sixties or seventies. Karl enlists the author's help to write a letter to his girlfriend, but things don't turn out the way he planned. 

Dying to Know You was magnificent. Quite honestly, it was not what I expected it would be. The coming of age story was emotional and beautiful. The writing was smooth and rhythmic. The characters each had a mind of their own and the story grabs you in. 

The fact that this was written from the writer's perspective was interesting. It gave it a more objective quality as he observed Karl's struggles. Though the writer grows to care for Karl, his views gave greater insight into the story. 

Karl is the definition of a troubled character. Ever since his father died when he was twelve, he has struggled to find himself. He is withdrawn and prefers people to read him to figure him out rather than spelling himself out for everyone. The direction his life took was unexpected and I really enjoyed seeing him grow into his own person 

There were a couple of things that I didn't like about this book. For one, the story moved at a slow pace. While I realize this was deliberate and it gave greater meaning to each event, there were a couple of times that I skimmed because I got bored. It wasn't too bad, but I would have liked to have avoided those less than interesting parts. 

One more minor problem was the dialogue. The author left out most of the "I said's" and "he/she said's". While it gave a flow to the writing, I got confused as to who was talking a few times. 

The most frustrating part, however, was Fiorella. I didn't like her at all. She was mean and nasty and horrible to Karl. She was manipulative and....Ugh, she was just awful. I didn't like her and I didn't like when she was so much as mentioned. Seriously, Karl deserved to much better than her. She was so mean and he was a sweetie. She so didn't deserve him. 

Overall, Dying to Know You was a brilliant coming of age story. If you like stories of overcoming challenges and growing as a person, than you will love this book. 


I obtained a copy of this from Netgalley 

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