Wednesday, May 8, 2013
ARC Review: Out of This Place by Emma Cameron
Title: Out of This Place
Author: Emma Cameron
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Release Date: May 14th, 2013
Out of This Place, known and published originally as Cinnamon Rain in Australia is a novel I've been wanting to read for a long time. Whenever I'd saved enough money to indulge in an Aussie book, invariably, some other novel would rise up the list before this one and I'd tell myself that I'd buy it - next time. Thus, when it came up on NetGalley, like a starved child I lunged for it, fervently hoping I'd be accepted. You can imagine my surprise, though, when I opened it to find that it was a verse novel.
So, I'll say it now: Out of This Place is a verse novel.
I have nothing against verse novels, but the only one I can remember liking was Love That Dog by Sharon Creech - a novel I read nearly a decade ago. As such, my excitement suddenly turned into skepticism, mostly because verse novels and I have not had a very illustrious history. Emma Cameron is an Aussie author, though, and I placed my trust in her words to guide me through this book.
And I'm glad I did.
Out of This Place is very different from your typical read. It is split three-way and told from the perspectives of three characters, all friends, all high school students, and all trying to find their place in the world. Quite surprisingly, I found that I loved the manner in which this novel was written and it worked very well for the story as a whole, enriching it even further. You wouldn't think it, but it turns out that an unexpected amount of depth can be conveyed through simple verse - a feat that Emma Cameron manages to complete seamlessly.
Nevertheless, I do have to admit that I felt as if something was missing from this. It took me awhile to really get into the style of the novel and the perspective changes, but even more than that, I think I was simply expecting a little more. As a novel, this book lacks nothing, but as a reader who has heard nothing but high praise for this little novel, perhaps I set my standards a little too high. I emerged from this novel satisfied, but not overly impressed and - dare I say it? - glad that I hadn't bought this one online after all.
I will certainly be clamoring to pick up whatever Emma Cameron writes next, merely because she makes her characters and their problems seem all so very real, but for readers who, like me, have heard much hype about this novel, I'd caution you - but only slightly. Out of This Place is unique, different from the majority of other contemporary reads out there, and combined with its impeccable characterization and stunning writing style, it deserves to be read, regardless of that slight missing factor left in my heart afterwards.