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On Ash Wednesday, Elizabeth Veritas discovers a mysterious note during the collection. Assuming it is from the handsome, new usher she picks it up and finds herself face to face with a new (handsome) friend and writing buddy.
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I was excited as all get out to get a review copy of this book. A young Catholic author writing for Young Adults? Fantastic! So I read the book. And then read it again. And this review is hard to write. There is something to be said for that kind of knowledge that comes only with time. That is, sometimes its best to let our best writing sit a bit and age – like a good wine or cheese – unearthing it later to taste and see what effect time has had on it.
I Thirst is a novel consisting of three nested stories: the story of Elizabeth and Peter, the story they write, and then the story those characters write. Such a nesting is difficult in even the best of scenarios, but I found the effect to be confusing with little in it to actually push the story forward. In some way, the stories parallel each other. But not to the effect that it provides any insight to the main characters’ motivations. True, its a means for the main characters to deepen their friendship, but then, I think that the reader doesn’t need to be privy to the finer details of either of the secondary storylines. Better to really develop the characters and let them shine through.
The books suffers from some other illnesses, as well. The prose is very repetitive in a stream of conscious style, and relies heavily on inconsistent formatting to get the point across. As well, it is often wordy without actually saying anything. (“He suddenly understood without understanding what he had never comprehended before – always caught in snapshots and glimpses but never entirely, never fully, understood.”).
The bones of the book are good! There is a story here that has Beauty at its core. A story, I think, that a mid to upper teen girl would enjoy reading by the poolside. A story, too, that ends with hope, and joy, and a sweetness that made even this reader sigh as she put it down.
I’m going to end this review with a note of encouragement to you young writers out there (my definition of young always expanding, of course, but let’s say…those under 30). Especially you young Catholic writers. Write! Write some more! We need your voice out here. And after you have written, put it aside and write some more. Let your writing simmer and then bring it out and edit it. Tweak it. Sometimes the first batch of cookies is just too raw and needs a bit more time in the oven. Ya know?
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- Author: Gina Marinello-Sweeney
- Publisher: Rivershore Books
- Reading Age: 16 +
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- Role Models/Authority Figures – Elizabeth and Peter are both very moral.
- Violence – None.
- Sexual Content – None. A sweet romance between 2 college age students.
- Language – No offensive language.
- Consumerism – None.
- Religion – the book is Catholic in nature with nothing contrary to the faith.