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.


  1. Yay! So glad to see this getting read by US bloggers!

    I'm glad you enjoyed it for the most part, I agree that Emma is a talented author and I hope she has more books in store for us!

  2. Ooh lala I have never heard of this one, but I love Aussie authors! I really haven't read all that many verse novels, so I think I'd like to try this one out. I'm glad it stil worked out for you in the end! It seems like us US bloggers can't get enough if that gorgeous Aussie writing. ;) I'll have to give this one a try soon, thanks for the awesome review, Keertana!

  3. The cover looks a lot like the one from Anthem for Jackson Daws.I was telling Sam that the this kind of cover seems really popular this year. Moving away from the cover, I don't think I've ever read a book in verse format, but I'd like to give this one a try. I trust your judgment with Aussie Authors :D

    Great Review Keertana!

  4. Oh, an Aussie novel! Oh...a novel-in-verse... Like you, it's been a while since I've read a novel-in-verse that I liked (Sonya Sones - One of Those Books Where the Mother Dies). I'm a little hesitant to pick this one up on account of the verse--argh, I sound so prejudiced, but. Just. There are so many other books to read. Still, it's an Aussie writer, so I will keep it on my radar for now. Thanks!

  5. I have still yet to read a book in verse Keertana! I read a short story and really enjoyed that, but not a full length novel. I completely understand what you said about setting your standards too high, I've done that with a couple of books that received rave reviews from other bloggers, and I just set a bar no book could really reach:) I'm glad you enjoyed it for the most part though, and that you're interested in more from this author!

  6. You had me at verse novel! I will be reading this one for sure. I love these and they're really something amazing when they're good! I haven't seen this one before but please be still on NetGalley!! Great review! :)

  7. I've only ever read one YA novel in verse and felt totally lukewarm about it, but probably because the whole verse thing wasn't well done at all. I suppose I should try with something else.
    Like you, I had no idea that Cinnamon Rain is in verse, just like I had no idea that it's getting a new edition and a new title. Obviously, I'm clueless.
    The thing that worries me more than the verse is the split perspetive. I'm not fond of dual POVs, and three narrators are even worse from where I'm standing. But a good author can handle it and I'm curious to see how it was handled here. If you loved it, I probably would too.
    Lovely review!

  8. I don't really read verse novels but I'm glad you enjoyed this so much! This sounds like a fantastic book. :)

  9. I haven't enjoyed many novels written in verse, but, then again, I've also tried very few. I've been super curious about this (it's Aussie, after all, and that's usually reason enough!), though I've been unsure about picking it up. I think I might save it for the library list now. Great review, Keertana! :)

  10. Oh, thank you for pointing out right off the bat that this is CINNAMON RAIN retitled, because that would have fooled me for sure! I have difficult with verse novels, so I think I'll skip this one.

    Sorry for being MIA, by the way, my usual once-a-week blog reading got way off track because I've been sick for two weeks! Still recovering, but it's nice to be able to catch up with what you've been reading. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  11. Hmmmmmm...maybe I'll try it out. Since I'm a poet, I might actually like it. Who knows? But I'm sorry that surprised you like that. That's definitely something I would like to know before purchasing a book so thanks for the heads up. Great review!

  12. This is a case where I'm very glad to have read your review to manage my expectations a bit. I'm still greatly looking forward to this (even as a verse novel, which I didn't think was my thing, but I really enjoyed what I've read thus far), but maybe I won't expect to be blown off my feet.

  13. I think you need to send me a list of your favorite Aussie reads, in addition to your favorite romance novels ;). I've read most of the bigger ones, but not nearly as many as you. I actually love verse novels, though I've read very few of them. I love when an author can convey their story in very few words and phrases. However, I'm not sure how it would work with multiple povs? That could get confusing. I'm not sure I will be clamoring for this one in particular, but I'll definitely put the author on my list to watch.


I love hearing from my readers and I read, reply, and appreciate every one of the comments I receive!(: If you're a fellow blogger, please leave a link to your blog - I'd love to drop by!

Unfortunately, this is now an award-free blog. I simply do not have the time to respond and forward on the award, but I truly appreciate the nomination regardless.