Monday, May 12, 2014

Day 12: Capricious

Day 12. It's a review day. If you haven't read this and its predecessor Capricious, and you have an undying love of verse novels, then you should really read this. ;)

Title: Capricious
Author: Gabrielle Prendergast
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Ella's grade eleven year was a disaster, but as summer approaches, things are looking up. She's back together with her brooding boyfriend, Samir, although they both want to keep that a secret. She's also best buddies with David and still not entirely sure about making him boyfriend number two. Though part of her wants to conform to high school norms, the temptation to be radical is just too great. Managing two secret boyfriends proves harder than Ella expected, especially when Samir and David face separate family crises, and Ella finds herself at the center of an emotional maelstrom. Someone will get hurt. Someone risks losing true love. Someone might finally learn that self-serving actions can have public consequences. And that someone is Ella.

Capricious is honest, expressive, and emotional. This is what I imagine when I think of the hardships and terrible times, the jealousies and slurs of the teenage years. This is the struggle to find the balance between who we want to be and who the world wants us to be, straddling the line and trying to keep from falling to the ground.

Ella, Raphaelle, is explosive, controversial, and opinionated, and I would have her no other way. Her individuality is what breathes life into this book. Her desires, her sadness, her fears, her dreams and nightmares. She is the explosion at the centre, painful and impossible to look away from. She continues to try and find her place in life, continues to test bits and pieces in order to piece together who she is. Her family continues to not understand her, her classmates continue to find her overwhelming, and the boys in her life continue to find her appealing. But she thinks that having two boyfriends could be interesting, could be just the thing to do now after everything blew up in her face in the previous book.

By keeping both Samir and David and secret kind of maybe boyfriends, Ella receives a number of things. With them, she can be different. She can be closer to who she wants to be. But life is never easy like that. Life does not often forgive those who choose to be audacious.

What I love about verse novels is how they are both sparse and expressive. Every word has a purpose, has meaning, but only so many words are given to the reader in order to tell the story. Less words for such a large story. And it works as it did with Audacious. Ella's pain and confusion coat each and every page.

What does it mean to be capricious? To be subject to an odd notion or unpredictable change, to be erratic. But what can we be as teenagers if not capricious, if not audacious? Are we supposed to know, by glorious miracle, how to act what to wear how to speak where to work so we don't make mistakes? No, we're not. This book is filled with experiences good and bad, lovely and painful, and it's supposed to be. Ella is supposed to be audacious, capricious, adventurous, impudent, daring, foolish. Because Ella can do anything.

(I received an e-galley of this title from Orca Book Publishers.)

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