2 out of 4 stars
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What is it like to be fourteen again? For Lizzie Colleen MacDougal, it is a time of change. Changes in her body, changes in her memories, changes in her desires for life, and changes in her surroundings. The only stability is her most trusted friend, her journal. A World So Bright and Dark by Sara Ellie Mackenzie, takes the reader through the journal of Lizzie.
On the surface, Lizzie seems to be like any normal teen. She spends time at school and with her friends, although her friends are often mean to her. Sometimes it was difficult to get a clear mental image of Lizzie. She seemed to be in her early teens, overweight and had acne. She did not like herself very much and didn’t seem to think she deserved anything good. She also felt that bad things happened because of her. As a result, she began cutting herself. The book talks about Lizzie through her eyes as she puts her thoughts into her journal. The book also talks about the “shadow man” who seems to be someone from her early years who molested her.
This book contained many grammatical and spelling errors. The book would change tenses in the middle of sentences or from one sentence to the next making it difficult to read. When I started reading the book, I thought some of the errors were intentional since the story is a journal written by a thirteen/fourteen-year old. However, the journal author, Lizzie, appears to be a child who is advanced, and would not make these types of errors in their writing. Therefore, I believe these were careless errors on the part of the book author.
The characters lacked development in the book. There were a lot of characters that were probably normal teens. They were petty and mean to each other. They picked on each other and made fun of one another about appearances and behaviors. They spread rumors about each other. However, regardless of how good of friends some of them were supposed to be, none of them took the time to figure out that Lizzie was cutting herself. I would hope that if you have a best friend, who is also a cousin, that you would be kinder to each other. Lizzie’s parents seemed to be struggling in life. Her mom and dad fought all the time. They seemed to have financial problems. Her dad had high expectations for his children, but he was mean to them. However, Lizzie still seemed to idolize her father. It was difficult to discern what the relationships within the family were.
I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars because of the lack of editing and the poor character and story development. The story jumped from past to present and sometimes it was difficult to tell what was going on. This book needs edited. There are many spelling errors that detract from the book. I am not sure what the focus of the book was about. I thought it was going to be about Lizzie using her journal to realize that she was molested and work through issues with this. This was touched on, but it seemed like a side note to just thoughts of a kid in a diary.
This book is hard to recommend to anyone until it is edited, the characters are developed, and there is an actual story line. It is probably an okay book for young teens who are not really looking for much substance. It touches on dark subjects like sex, molestation, and cutting. It superficially looks at teen life.
A World So Bright and Dark
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