Friday, September 12, 2014
Can't Look Away, by Donna Cooner
Her attempts to ingratiate herself into the company of the popular clique also come into conflict with her romantic aspirations as she finds herself falling for brooding Luis -- an outcast. Luis, however, understands her grief over the loss of her sister in a way that no one else does. And he helps her to understand the futility of seeking fame and popularity.
It's a pleasing story with most of the tropes of YA fiction. The girl doesn't quite fit the plain Jane standard for a heroine (she far too pretty and vain), but she has the right amount of insecurity to make her instantly worthy of empathy. But Torrey didn't really grab me. She's too narcissistic and her complaints are repetitive and whiny. Her coming around at the end is entirely too neat. The boy is, of course, too perfect as well as being conveniently unattached.
Not everything is standard and predictable. There is a nice side story about Mexican death customs. And I also liked the side story of Torrey's awkward cousin Raylene, who provides a not-so-subtle comparison with the dead sister.