Great Premise, Great Start, Not so Great Book

Great Premise, Great Start, Not so Great Book

Girl By Any Other NameGirl By Any Other Name by M.K. Schiller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great Premise, Great Start, Not so Great Book

Girl by Any Other Name – MK Schiller

It’s not often that I both love and hate a book so much as I did this one. I loved the premise of the story, and I loved the first half of it. I disliked the main character, and the second half of the book was, well, disappointing. I wished I could give this book five stars, but it’s too flawed for that.

The story is about Caleb Tanner, a boy who lives in Prairie, Texas, USA. Early on he meets Sylvie, the girl next door who’s his age. They soon develop a complicated love/hate relationship. Over time they grow closer, and they become each other’s soulmates. Then, at age seventeen, tragedy strikes and Sylvie disappears.
From this point on, Caleb’s life is only about one thing: finding Sylvie again. Until, one day, she walks into the class he teaches at the community college. Their lives will never be the same again.

I love how well-written the story is and how clever the story is constructed. Everything fits, and in the end, there’s a plausible explanation for it all. There was even a small surprise in the final chapters that I didn’t see coming. The characters are so deep and life-like in a way you don’t often see in fiction. The dialogue is very well done too, as are all side-characters. I loved Caleb’s little sister Mandy.

However, I hate Caleb. Often he is so immature that I could hardly believe he was a teacher at college. He does and says repulsive things, and at times, I could not understand why Sylvie would want to be with him.

Without giving away too many spoilers, the second half of the book is terrible. It’s as if the author was just trying to fill up pages, even though she was lacking for content. It’s a shame because the story started out so strong. It’s not until the final thirty pages that the narrative picks up again and propels you into an explosive final scene.

It’s tough to say whether I would recommend this book. I really enjoyed the first half, and I kept picking it back up because I wanted to know what would happen next. I guess I can only say this: pick this book, read through the first half, skim through the next quarter and enjoy the ending. And be prepared to want to slap Caleb now and then for his immature behavior.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

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