Thursday, August 21, 2014

By Any Other Name by Laura Jarratt

By Any Other Name
Laura Jarratt 

Page Count: 368
Stand Alone.

My Rating: ★ ★ ★
Average Rating on Goodreads: 3.81

Nobody can know the truth—her life depends on it. A tale of family, identity, and trust, about a girl struggling with life in the witness protection program.

I picked up the book and thumbed through the pages. Names in alphabetical order, names with meanings, names I knew, names I'd never heard of. How to pick? Nothing that would stand out, nothing that would link me to the past—those were the instructions. The past. As if everything that had gone before this moment was buried already.

Holly is 15 years old, but she's only been "Holly" for a matter of months. Because of something that happened, she and her family have had to enter witness protection and have all assumed new identities. All, that is, except her sister Katie, who is autistic. Starting at a new school mid-year is hard enough at the best of times, and Holly has no clue who she is anymore. Lonely and angry, she reaches out to friends—new and old. But one wrong move will put all their lives in danger.

First Thought: This is gonna be good!! I loved Laura Jarratt in Louder than Words, so I have an awesome feeling for this.

Afterthought: MY FEELINGS HAVE LIED TO ME >:O Evil buggers.

The synopsis sounds awesome, doesn't it? Go read it. SO SUSPENSEFUL.

What they left out in the introduction:
Holly is a 15 year old snotty brat, who only thinks of herself. She liked (notice the past tense. I'm getting there) to make fun of people with her old best friend just to cheer herself up. She thinks that if a guy is hot, then it's obvious that she should feel something towards him. She is very stabbable, and nearly faced a horrible death by yours truly.

Ookay. Heh :P

It had a cool conceptt! I have to admit that. Not too out of the ordinary, but cool enough for you to keep turning pages. The problem was in the CHARACTERS. I didn't like them, and couldn't connect to them whatsoever.

Joe was alright, I suppose, but he didn't stand out too much if you put him next to other YA guys. No defining trait, you get me?

The fact that Holly saw him once, saw his clothes and his hair, and then called him "Emo Guy" for 55% of the book was not cool. Approximately 63 times during those I don't know... 180 pages? 
Very. Very. Very. Frustrating. *grits teeth*

Holly was just an idiot character. I get it, people aren't perfect blablabla, but do you KNOW how it is to be in that kind of person's head for ages? Surely you've read something like that. They have flaws, and they're imperfect, and they're kind of meaaann, and you just want to exterminate them and hide their body somewhere :)
   Plus it doesn't help she was a bit of a hypocrite. At her old school, she would make fun of people, like you know those stereotype popular girls in American highschool chickflick films? She was one of those! (except British) and then she comes to this middle of nowhere school, used to being bowed down at. Except... She's supposed to be a new person now. No one knows her. DUN DUN DUUN! And the tables turn. She's now one of the people who GET bullied. So she get's all upset and waah boohoohoo.
Me: Shuddup. *rolls eyes* At least you know how that is now when you did it to others! >:(
(I had a lack of sympathy issue with this girl XD)

After the first half, you could see some character development with Holly. It was refreshing to see, and it enabled me to finish the book. Because I can dure with that for some while, but I ain't going to spend any more time on a book with people I despise. End of story -.-
It was done well though, I must admit. The characterisation was slow and believable, instead of her suddenly having a nice nice personality like some kind of bipolar person. And Joe was that reason, of course. THANK YOU JOE. *crowd bows down at his feet* YOU HAVE SAVED US!!

I found lots of plot similarities to Louder Than Words too? I don't know which book came out first, and i'm too lazy to check, but both books had a teenage hate website thing, and someone in a coma. Why! Whyyyy would you use that twice?! Mer. Teenage hate websites aren't that common, as far as I know.. Or maybe it's just my school? *scratches head* But It's not my favourite kind of thing.. Have some creativity, people :P

Anyyyhoo, Bottom line,
It was a mediocre book with a relatively interesting plot but stupid characters. It shows us what growing up is like, (Holly's development.) so it wasn't a total waste ;) It got so much better after the first half, when I was seriously considering throwing my ipad. (*winces* Sorry Luna) I'm kind of disappointed, I guess? Yeahhh..
I dunno if I want to recommend it or not. I would say no to the first half but have a go at the second half... Your pick *winks*

—MissOddball™ Over and Out. *salutes*


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