Sunday, July 17, 2011
Book Review: "Blind Sight" by Meg Howrey
If I were to think about the characteristics that best describe the "type" of book I most enjoy, the list would include believable, beautifully drawn characters; a relatable but not necessarily utterly realistic plot; emotional development for the characters and, in turn, for me; and a feeling of slight melancholy once I finish reading, because the book is done. Of course, I've thought about this today because I just finished Meg Howrey's debut novel, Blind Sight, which I can definitely say is my "type" of book. I. Loved. It.
Seventeen-year-old Luke has been surrounded by strong women all his life. Raised by his New Age-y mother, religious grandmother and two quirky half-sisters in an environment of both mysticism and old-fashioned Puritanism, Luke is actually the first male child in many generations of his family, but has never felt he suffered because of this. Near the end of his junior year in high school, he finds out that his fatherof whom his mother had never spokenis a famous television actor in Los Angeles, and Luke goes to spend the summer with him. Luke learns that the glamorous Hollywood life isn't necessarily a satisfying one, but he realizes very quickly that while he never felt the absence of a father before, having his father in his life makes him feel truly grounded in ways he never imagined. And as the bond between Luke and his father deepens, he starts to question the philosophies with which he was raised, and starts to wonder about his place in the future.
Meg Howrey, a former ballet dancer, has an incredible knack for dialogue, both humorous and serious. The relationships she created between all of the characters in the book are so multi-dimensional, and while you may find yourself "rooting" for one character over another, you actually can understand the motivations behind each. Luke was an incredible narrator and I found myself completely engaged in his struggles, particularly with the emotional turmoil he dealt with toward the end of the book. (Interestingly enough, mid-way through each chapter, Howrey switches from first-person to third-person narration.) As I've said in book reviews I've written before, a sign of how much I enjoy a book is when I want to know what happens to the characters after I finish reading. Blind Sight is definitely one of the books I wish could have lasted longer, because I want to know where Luke's storyand that of his familywill go next.