HOKAY - I won this book on Goodreads First Reads, and I thought the premise of a girl dealing with being a stalker in high school was fabulous. She not only puts herself into dangerous and embarrassing situations, she is also dealing with family issues at the same time.
Onto the review!
Onto the review!
Cammie Bliss is a very likable character. She’s been labeled as a stalker at her high school, but she doesn’t let it bother her too much, seeing as how she doesn’t see anything wrong with some of the things she does. She explains in alternating chapters about the history of her stalking and how she came to be considered one by her school/town. All of the individual experiences she “chronicles” are equally amusing and endearing. Her character develops a lot throughout the story, internally and emotionally, and is able to adapt what she knows in her everyday life. There are a few moments when I was cringing at the situations she got herself into, driven by compulsion and obsession; needing to know information about someone in ways that were unsavory.
At the beginning of the story, Cammie tells herself she wants to change, but isn’t sure how to make that change. When a new boy moves to town, she hopes that she can make progress with him as a friend and maybe more, if only her old ways don’t get the better of her. What unfolds is sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking in Cammie’s discovery of what it means to turn over a new leaf, and how she struggles along the way with impulses and family issues all rolled into one.
The setting was a small town, Lakewood, in New York and it was very close home for me because I currently live in a very small town, Block Island, RI, which is a tourist spot in the summer, but completely dead in the winter. I understood the small town gossip and how ones reputation can be made or broken with one single accomplishment or disgrace. But the characters in Cammie’s life, her friend Rosie; a Jehovah’s Witness, Toby; the new boy in town, and her family, really show what it means to be struggling in life with reputation, high school, love, marriage, and the importance of truth.
Cammie’s family was going through a rough patch during the narrative, and you really felt for each of the characters during the tough moments. Her father has to move out, yet he sits in his car outside their house each night, almost protecting and staying connected to the family even if he can’t be an immediate part of it. Cammie’s mother gets involved with another man, and Moore didn’t rush the situation, it was evident that this story was just a part of the whole picture. That after Cammie finished her story, she would continue to deal with her family’s separation and would grow to learn how to adapt to an unfavorable relationship with her parents being apart.
The layout of information Moore was presenting the reader with was also interesting. It would go in chronological order, and then jump to past memories of Cammie’s about her stalking tales, and then jump back to the present time. Only one time did it feel really abrupt and disconnected, but it wasn’t enough to derail me from enjoying the story as a whole. I read this in one sitting, which isn’t to say it’s a short book, but it’s enough to keep the reader interested, but doesn’t drag the story along. Every scene and description was important to the chronicles that Cammie was presenting to the reader, whether it was present or past recollections. Moore does a fabulous job of inviting the reader into Cammie’s strange but entertaining world and proving that labels don’t mean a thing when it comes to who a person truly is.Sidenote: I'm buying Pure by Julianna Baggott from my local bookstore on Friday, so bare with me until I can get it and finish it for my review!