Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Over You, by Amy Reed
A deceptively simple book full of big literary experiments. Some of these are quite successful (Reed skillfully explores the logistics of a dependent friendship), others are less so (frequent interludes riffing on Greek mythology stick out like a pretentious sore thumb and only in a few cases add value to the plot). The most striking literary device though is Reed's decision to write the first half of the book in second person. This, as any writer can tell you, is one of the most challenging voices to master. It's very immediate and even a bit exhausting as the text risks becoming accusatory. In this case, it works very well and pulls us into the story from the start. It also very nicely conveys the obsessive nature of the two girls' friendship. That said, her decision to switch later on to first person narration is a welcome relief. The storyline is modest, but the writing is truly stand out.