Monday, June 11, 2007

One nicely detailed; another disappointly bland

The Mercy of Thin Air, by the intriguingly named Ronlyn Domingue, is a love story and a (somewhat predictable) mystery combined. The characters, even minor ones, were developed clearly, unlike in so many things I've read lately. I appreciated the mystery aspects even though I solved it very early, and I loved the intertwining past, present, and past-present.

I should have known by the gimmicky parenthetic title: Ann Brashare's The Last Summer (of You and Me) was a disappointment. I love the Traveling Pants books -- such lovable, realistic characters, despite occasionally unrealistic situations, and an excellent grasp of what it is to be a teenager. The Last Summer does not, unfortunately, grasp what it is to be 20-something. The characters barely have personality, let alone speak for a generation. The plot was just silly -- problems that weren't really problems, with overly dramatic twists to further complicate the non-problems. I liked the descriptions of the beach. That was about it.

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