Today’s book review comes from Suraya, find her at http://www.thestorymint.com
Suraya chose to read and Review What It Takes by Terry Tyler
What it Takes
This was like reading a novel by Maeve Binchy. The characters were people you recognised. Their anxieties and concerns familiar.
The story structure was cleverly executed with characters having their own chapters so that we got to know them and their worlds from their points of view. It’s not easy to have a cast of about seven characters and to give each one a unique voice and to stay true to that for the length of the novel.
There is one dominant perspective and that is Karen’s, the plain sister of two gorgeous girls. That is like a disability that skews Karen’s view of the world making her overly cautious or flippant. In this world Karen misunderstands love. She has one night stands, misses the cues from Sam who is too afraid to express his love in case that ruins their friendship and chases Danny after fobbing him off because she thinks they are mismatched but then changes her mind. Much of what she sees is the superficial.
She envies Ava’s ‘perfect’ world and fails to see that being married to Jason means her sister is forever worrying about her appearance. Nor does she understand what lies behind Ava’s retort to Jason, ‘Oh shut up Jase. Think you’ll ever grow out of being horrible to everyone?’ (111)
Saskia, Karen’s other beautiful sister, has problems of her own. She is popular but doesn’t have the one she wants. The stories of these girls are full of ironies.
There are some wonderful down to earth phrases like this one from Chapter 14 ….’find someone who really floats your boat. Stupid bloody expression. (78)
This is all about relationships, falling in and out of love, exploring love and what makes love work and not and it’s about not seeing what is in front of you. And it’s about growing up and how hard that can be sometimes.
These are flawed characters whose apparently ordinary lives are incredibly complex and complicated. Some of it is their own doing and some of it circumstance.
It’s a great read….a kind of hall of portraits that get tangled up and untangled.
Very enjoyable and a pleasure to watch someone else’s drama’s rather than living them myself.
Five out of five stars.