Thanks to ABRAMS Kids, Amulet Books, and NetGalley for an opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book and I didn’t really get along that well. However, before I get into that part of the review, I wanted to say that even though I’m not giving Goose an excellent rating, it did keep me entertained in that I wanted to find out what happened next. Also, although I could somewhat tell what the climactic portion was going to involve, the actual severity of what occurred took me by surprise — which is a good thing.
I had three main problems with Goose.
First: This entire book is full of telling, rather than showing. The first half of the book I kept hoping that it would change the further I went, but no luck.
Second: Although the problems encountered by Flo and Renee are likely enough (I guess?) to actually happen in the real world, I hated the preachiness and heavy-handed use of “life lessons.” For example:
“…I’m beginning to learn that being an adult is hard work and full of tough decisions, and that you don’t always make the right ones. The most important thing is that you learn from your mistakes, and make up for them as best as you can when you get the chance.” – Renee (91%).
And here’s another example of preachiness (as well as stereotyping, which I’ll get to in point number 3):
I swallow the urge to ask her not to use words like “slut” in church, but I’m sure God will forgive her loose tongue considering the circumstances.” – Flo (89%).
Third: Stereotyping. Flo starts attending church about halfway through the book and what Flo says and does (as well as how Renee responds) is very stereotypical. Flo gets involved with some other Christian teens/young adults from her church, which are basically fanatical, almost cult-like. One of the Christian guys has a rock band, and Flo is blown away by the concept of there being Christian rock bands!!11!!. Umm… okay? This was supposed to take place in 1997… and there have been Christian rock bands since the 1970s and 1980s. By the 1990s Christian rock music was really taking off. Anyway, tangent. I don’t know — as a Christian myself, it’s hard for me to be objective about this — but take the above quote (where Flo doesn’t like Renee using words like “slut” in church). Flo objects to that, yet she wants to get laid ASAP and doesn’t want to wait for marriage (and thinks that those who do are crazy)? I… don’t understand the logic. But then again, that might be my own personal bias getting in the way.
However, all of my complaints aside, I noticed that this is the second in a series, and that the first book seemed to be much better liked than this one. I may pick up the first book, and keep Dawn O’Porter on my radar for other books, since there was enough in this book that I liked to make me be willing to give her books another chance