Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Photo property of Milkweed Editions

Publisher:Milkweed Editions

Pub Date:09/13/2011

Author:Jessica Lee Anderson
Category:FICTION - ADULT: Literary

Calli has almost everything she could want in life—two loving moms, a good-looking boyfriend, and a best friend who has always been there for support. An only child, Calli is excited when her parents announce that they want to foster a girl her own age. But Cherish is not at all what Calli expected. Cherish lies, steals, kisses Calli’s boyfriend, and seems to get away with just about everything. Tired of being pushed around and determined to get even, Calli decides to take matters into her own hands. But her plan for revenge goes horribly awry. Calli ends up on the wrong side of her moms, her boyfriend, and even her best friend, while she wrestles with her guilt. She is desperate for a chance to make amends, but what if Calli doesn’t get another chance to say she’s sorry?

Description:  There's not a ton of description in Calli, so there's not a lot to say.  Scenes are set well.  I know what I needed to know to get by.  And details didn't overwhelm or bore me.  For me, as a reader, if I don't notice description, then it's done well. (Score: 6/10)

Narrative: Jessica Lee Anderson wrote Calli's story in first person, so the tale is told right from inside her head.  There's a lot of narrative.  Sometimes too much, I think.  I really liked knowing the facts revealed in this fashion, but I thought it lacked a little in the creativity department.  Some areas were a little dry and drawn out.  Overall, though, I enjoyed the concept of the novel. (Score: 5/10)

Dialogue:  Again, here, I was a little disappointed.  Most of the time, the dialogue was rather predictable. It lacked the flair that I think makes Young Adult Authors really stand out.  It wasn't bad or annoying, so that's good.    All in all, the dialogue in Calli just sort of was-if you know what I mean. (Score: 5/10)

Characterization:  (Now I'm starting to feel bad about writing this review, but hang in there, there are some redeeming qualities I'll describe later.)  My blunt and honest truth is that the characters were not multi-dimensional the way I like them.  They didn't pop off the page and pull me into the book.  Yes, each character was unique and definitely an individual within the story, but there was nothing that rose them above the general population.  (Score: 4/10)

Resolution:  Well, here I can honestly say this is a resolution that surprised me.  And that's hard to do.  There wasn't a far fetched twist or a predictable ending.  The book wrapped up and ended.  I liked that.  There were no cliff hangers or spoilers.  (Score: 6/10)

Calli overall was a book I liked, but didn't love.  I'm disappointed because I really, really wanted to love it.  The concept was sort of interesting to me: two moms and a teen with a foster sister.  What a great idea!  But, overall, I felt the novel really lacked the magic it needed to make me fall in love with it.  On the plus side, I didn't hate it.  I think maybe it could be enjoyed by many. I'd especially recommend it to the younger side of YA or readers who aren't as character driven as I am.  The story itself is clean cut with none of the "darkness" critics keep talking about.  It simple and easy to follow with some real thought provoking pieces to it.  Overall, I'd rate this book:  2.5 out of 5 stars.

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