Because who can afford books in this economy?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Virginia by Susan Hughes

Title: Virginia
Author: Susan Hughes
Published: March 2010
Source: Received for review from publisher
Synopsis from back cover:
Virginia Donato has always had an indefinable quality that
sets her apart from anyone else Ivy Morrell has ever known. But when this childhood friend and neighbor confides in her, confessing that she has been asked by an angel to do something "momentous," fourteen-year-old Ivy begins to think Virginia has lost her mind.

Although trying to survive her first few weeks of high school, as well as training hard tomake it onto the cross-country team, Ivy can't stop worrying about Virginia. Ivy visits her friend, persisting in trying to talk to her about her bizarre claim, but she becomes increasingly uncomfortable in the Donato home. The only "normal" one there seems to be Virginia's youngest brother, Joe -- and Ivy even finds herself falling for him a tiny bit, though she realizes the grade twelve student already has a girlfriend and is far too old to be interested in her. Virginia's sisters definitely want her to stay away, and even Virginia's mother is acting in a disturbing manner.

But then Ivy discovers that Virginia's older brother Paul may have a shocking secret of
his own, one that could have dangerous consequences.

She wants to keep out of . well, whatever is going on at the Donato's, but she feels
compelled to help her friend. And it may well be that whatever is going on there is
actually connected in some way to Virginia. Soon Ivy finds herself caught up in a chain
of events over which she has no control. Should Ivy tell? Is there anyone else she can turn
                        to before it's too late?

Virginia was a strange novel for me. It has a lot of religious themes, and, well, I'm not religious. It took me a while to separate by beliefs from the story. Once I did it wasn't a terrible book, just not my thing.

For me this book lacked the compelling factor that most books have. Until I was about 3/4's in I could have stopped reading and not have regretted it at all. It was slow going, a lot of build up, which was probably meant to be suspenseful but didn't work for me. I didn't think that Ivy, the main character, was very interesting.. The whole book revolves around Virginia and I never really got to know Ivy without the whole mess. At the beginning there's a little bit of normal high school-ness, but that's all dropped not far in.

I liked the way that at the end of every chapter there was a little piece of Virginia's point of view, told from third person. It was interesting to know what she was thinking while everything was happening, and to know her side of the story.

The relationship between Ivy and Joe was a nice addition, and was one of the reasons why I thought that the end was more compelling than the beginning. Joe, unlike the rest of his family, is normal. Normalcy was a nice change.

Sadly, this book wasn't for me. I'm sure that there are some other readers who would enjoy it, but the religious aspect through me off.

Characters: 6/10
Writing: 6/10
Plot: 7/10
Originality: 10/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 38/50 C
Cover Comments: Terrible cover, I really dislike the title font, and the "wing" is not beautiful like you would think an angel wing is supposed to be.


  1. Thanks for the honest review! It doesn't really sound like my type of book either.

  2. Thanks for a great review! Love your blog.

    Thanks for stopping by mine!

  3. I have not seen this title so was very interested in your review. The premise sounded better than it would seem the book turned out though. Glad I stopped by. Have a great weekend.

  4. Aw, too bad you didn't like it! I doubt I would either - religion's not really my thing.

  5. Ooh, not the best book, eh?
    At least you were honest!
    I now know not to pick this up next time...
    Love, Hannah

  6. Hmm...doesn't really sound like my style. Thanks for the honest review! :)


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