February 01, 2013

Reviewing... [7] When God Was A Rabbit

Stealing From My Mother...

Reviewing... [7]

Author: Sarah WinmanSource: (as above) lent. Recommended for: book clubs
This review is in two halves, because the book was in two sections. Part 1 doesn't contain spoilers, but Part 2 does a little.

Part 1~
Did you know it's fun to pretend to walk on glass? More fun than actually walking on glass. Also, that it's considered blasphemy to call a rabbit God- but that's a big burden to a schoolgirl.
But blasphemy aside, it isn't anything to do with religion. The title comes from the name that Elly's brother choose for her first pet.
She is a real British girl and I think, I'm a 90's girl not a 60's, it's because society was very different. But apparently not too different as they accept homosexuality and as with everything, Elly accepts. The childhood events are explored in Part 1 & I preferred her voice in Part 1, as it was more poignant. It wouldn't make the book complete for that voice to grow up, but in many ways she is wiser than her years.
Having said that I loved Elly, and much of her family, Nancy wasn't completely realistic. She appeared fake, bit like her occupation. Evident as it is that Nancy was a role-model who did impact Elly + Joe's life I still found Nancy...

<-- Emotions for Nancy.

Elly is a wallflower who has begun to bloom by the end...

Part 2 (spoilers hidden- if you think this does contain spoilers please let me know 
& I'll hide certain sections too!)

And the reason they didn't turn out how I expected? Because I know a lot happened to Elly- but did she have to turn out so high maintenance...? I thought she'd be a little less watchful but still sound realistic. I honestly though the guessing would end- that was a way for a child to write. For Elly to explore events and not explain them in that raw way.
It continued in Part 2. So transition... Kind of incomplete.
I think the fact that it didn't transform Elly into some kind of uberly amazing adult was probably what I should have been expecting. But I hadn't because Jenny Penny and Elly did explore religion and then now her life hasn't really grown to be any bigger or important than a flea. 

It just didn't grab me and I'm not meaning to be harsh but there were also points when she'd do something pointless (my goodreads contains this spoiler- it is tagged)
Joe was supposed to bring us a major 'climax', but I thought he became less important. I could just feel Charlie inching in to replace Joe. In fact, I preferred Charlie; I really didn't like Joe by the end. Charm, kindness and control that Joe had was lost- which was good as it met Elly wasn't obsessed with him like she had been when he'd be the interesting older brother of her childhood. Elly came to give up on him looking after her, and then her after him and it all came to be rather flat... And Charlie came to be quite a lot like Joe had been in Part 1. 

I wouldn't recommend it to myself (to re-read) but enjoyed most of it so you can take this as a nay or a yay depending on your tastes. I liked Part 1 immensely for being so different to other Coming-Of-Age stories, but I disliked Part 2 (see above when you've read Part 1). I obviously read most YA's so it was different and seemed to have more unprecedented drama. Do take in account age too- it's possible when I am an age it is more suited for I will re-read it.

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