Monday, January 26, 2009

Vibes, by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Kristi makes outfits for herself out of random items she has found (tire inner tubes, old raincoats, etc.) and she listens to opera music on her iPod really loud to drown out the kids at her hippie alternative school. But what she really is trying to drown out is their thoughts (Kristi is cursed with the seeming ability to read minds) because what she hears isn't exactly nice stuff. She know full well that the girls think she is a bitch and the boys are all obsessed with her "ginormous" breasts. But things are changing. A new boy at school seems interested in her and the sexy older brother of her former BFF is sending out conflicting signals. Just to complicate matters, her absent Dad has returned and she is struggling to keep her secret pet cat hiddne from her allergic Mom.

This synopsis will probably make it seem like there is a lot of random stuff going on in this story, but Ryan has a good talent for making it all gel. Yes, some of the subplots could probably have been trimmed out, but I found the story quite readable. The whole psychic subplot, for example, is left beautifully vague and unresolved, which is just the way it needed to be. In so many ways, this book could have gone very badly, but it manages to skate through fine. As another example, a near-sentimental finale avoids the pitfalls and ends up with both a satisfactory sense of closure and enough open stuff to permit a sequel (although I hope that won't happen!). This book is worth reading for both its own enjoyment and as a lesson in how to keep readers nicely on their toes.

1 comment:

zurdii♥ said...

the best book yet, i love reading this book i feel i can relate a bit and kristi is faboulous!!