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Official Review: Lovely Rita by Randall Blair

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Official Review: Lovely Rita by Randall Blair

Post Number:#1 by greenstripedgiraffe
» 09 Oct 2017, 10:27

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Lovely Rita" by Randall Blair.]

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3 out of 4 stars
Review by greenstripedgiraffe
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Lovely Rita by Randall Blair is a coming of age novel, starring Clark Westfield, an emotionally repressed teenager. Clark’s twin, Sarah is the opposite personality. Outgoing and dramatic, she has been chosen as the lead in the school play. The one point of commonality between the twins is the Westfield family tradition of packing up and moving every summer, due to their father’s career. Clark handles this upset by staying on the sidelines, purposefully not involving himself in friendships or school athletics.

Rita, the book’s namesake, is the result of a brief love union between Mr. Westfield and a British singer. Of course, the Westfield family (not even Mr. Westfield) has no idea that Rita exists, until she lands on their doorstep looking for “Mr. John Westfield…I believe he is my father.” This serves a mighty shock to the entire family. However, over the next several weeks Rita becomes an integral part of their lives. As an “outsider,” Rita provides a unique perspective and becomes a sounding board to each member of the family. From Mr. and Mrs. Westfield, to the twins, each person has their individual struggles and fears. Can Rita bring healing to the family, or are some issues too hard to manage?

Lovely Rita provides both the action needed to propel a story forward plus the “secret” knowledge of characters thoughts and emotions. I found it easy to read. The brilliance of the author’s style lies in the reader’s full understanding of each character. What makes Clark happy or sad? What does he think about in his spare time? What about the girl he has a crush on? The characters’ actions are a natural outflow of their thoughts.

After singing all the praises of this sweet story, the one thing I found somewhat disturbing is the overemphasis on sex. The young people are all obsessed with sex. Clark is the epitome of naivety. He has no idea what sex even is or what one is supposed to do. Rita has had the most experience of the three, but even she is struggling to relate sex with love. Does “love” equal “sex”? Should one expect more out of a relationship? Although I realize that sex is in the front of young people’s thoughts, I would have liked to see more of the general relationship building and less of a sexual emphasis throughout.

I like the plot; I love the characters. My gauge for what I find appropriate for a young person is my own children. I would not wish my young teenage boy to read this book. I feel people who do not mind reading this type of material would enjoy Lovely Rita very much. I do send a note of caution for those who would be offended. As such, I will give this 3 out of 4 stars.

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Lovely Rita
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Re: Official Review: Lovely Rita by Randall Blair

Post Number:#2 by kandscreeley
» 10 Oct 2017, 07:17

Sounds interesting. I kind of have a problem with the overemphasis on sex, though. I don't think ALL young people are thinking about sex ALL the time. That's a little stereotypical to me. Thanks for the review, though.
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Re: Official Review: Lovely Rita by Randall Blair

Post Number:#3 by greenstripedgiraffe
» 10 Oct 2017, 07:23

kandscreeley wrote:Sounds interesting. I kind of have a problem with the overemphasis on sex, though. I don't think ALL young people are thinking about sex ALL the time. That's a little stereotypical to me. Thanks for the review, though.


This is my opinion also. I certainly wasn't thinking about sex all the time when I was a kid :lol: I do also think that media (social or otherwise) is in part responsible for more kids thinking more about sex than is healthy. But, that is just my opinion and not really worth much. :lol2:
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Re: Official Review: Lovely Rita by Randall Blair

Post Number:#4 by kislany
» 12 Oct 2017, 02:21

I agree with kandscreeley as I'm also a bit put off by too much focus on sex in a book. I can't help but feel that the author took the axiom "sex sells" to heart. Nice review, greenstripedgiraffe.
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Re: Official Review: Lovely Rita by Randall Blair

Post Number:#5 by greenstripedgiraffe
» 12 Oct 2017, 08:38

kislany wrote:I agree with kandscreeley as I'm also a bit put off by too much focus on sex in a book. I can't help but feel that the author took the axiom "sex sells" to heart. Nice review, greenstripedgiraffe.


I agree also - that was the big disappointment to me. The author has a nice way of writing, and the story was enjoyable, except....
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Re: Official Review: Lovely Rita by Randall Blair

Post Number:#6 by Hobokela
» 13 Oct 2017, 10:57

# 5
Enjoyable story
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Re: Official Review: Lovely Rita by Randall Blair

Post Number:#7 by Sarah Immanuel
» 15 Oct 2017, 00:46

Oh well with this content I think it should be rated 18.
But I think its an interesting story
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Re: Official Review: Lovely Rita by Randall Blair

Post Number:#8 by Ashley Simon
» 16 Oct 2017, 12:53

Hm, I don't think I would enjoy a YA book that is so fixated on sex. Thanks for the review!
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Re: Official Review: Lovely Rita by Randall Blair

Post Number:#9 by greenstripedgiraffe
» 16 Oct 2017, 13:03

Ashley Simon wrote:Hm, I don't think I would enjoy a YA book that is so fixated on sex. Thanks for the review!


Yes, this was a big disappointment. The story is overall sweet and lovely; it really is sad that the author made the primary "coming of age" part equal to "learning about and experiencing sex."
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