Saturday, August 25, 2012

roses are red, and...

There’s something unique about reviewing a book that you’ve watched develop from start to finish. A book that your own friend has been working on for over two years. Remembering back to the first time you heard that she was writing a book, to holding a published copy in your hands. It’s been a really neat journey, and I’m so happy that I can introduce to you today to my dear friend Elizabeth Rose, and her first book: Violets are Blue.

I'm not a "classic" book reviewer, I do each one kinda different, just to keep things interesting. Sometimes I do a chronological look, sometimes I summarize, sometimes I focus on a particular incident, or sometimes a particular person. The thing that stood out to me the most about this truly fascinating story was the development of the characters and how true they are to life. So, dear readers, that is going to be the focus of this review.

Actually, this is a book that was interesting for me to read since I really couldn’t relate to the main character, Violet, very much. I found that I’m more of a cross between Violet’s older sister Emma and her best friend Lilli. That said, I was particularly struck by one chapter that involved a conversation between Vi and her dramatic sister Helen. In the scene (forgive the theater language - I'm an actress, what can I say? *chuckle*) Helen opens her heart to her big sister in a moment of weakness, and Violet gets a rare glimpse into the "real" Helen. Vi learns in the brief interchange the mystery, if you will, behind Helen's sometimes obnoxious and overly hyper behavior - it was simply her way of dealing with change and sadness and stress. I personally felt convicted about my own behavior toward one of my own sisters. Which brings me to something I love about Violets are Blue - the family relationships are so realistics, from the happy dialogues to the home scenes to even the bantering - I appreciated the authenticity...almost as if the authoress is from a large family herself. *grin*
Also, the long-distance friendship between Lilli and Violet struck a chord in my own life. For the past six years, my bestfriend and I have been corresponding (for the first four years by letter, then by email, and of course phone) across the ocean. More than once I found myself smiling as Violet promptly responded to each letter of Lilli's, as well as feeling the urge to write about every important thing going on, and of course begging and pleading for looooong replies.
I did come away wanting to know more about Ethan, his personality, character, family, etc. and wishing I had gotten to know Lilli better. Ethan seems to be very gentlemanly with a good head on his shoulders, and the burden he carried for so long did not make him bitter towards other people. Did he learn these good traits from his father? or his uncle? What makes him happy? Those sort of things. Of course, he wasn't the focus of the story, but still - these are the questions I ask when I'm evaluating a character. And Lilli, she treated Vi much like I treat (or would it be more like torture? :P) my dear friends. And Emma...who I saw myself in as well.
I could go on. And on. I thoroughly enjoyed Violets are Blue, and now that I've read it twice, I finally gave it up to my sister to read - and she's enthralled. So I say, read it! And expect to come away very impressed. It's an enjoyable read, but it will also make you think - both very important elements in a book :D

1 comment:

  1. I've been going back and forth about getting this...time is so precious that I want to be really deliberate about the books I read *cough* excluding several hours devoted to devouring THG *cough*. But I think I'll be buying VAB fairly soon. You have succeeded in peaking my interest. (Frankly, any book you like tends to peak my interest, since I'm 99.9% sure to like it.)

    It was a strange feeling to chat and know that it was the exact same time for both of us. It sure has been a long time since THAT happened. :)

    Counting down to October. *squeal*

    Yours Truly