Book reviews & writing tips from a wannabe YA writer
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Title: Shine, Coconut Moon
Author: Neesha Meminger
Category: Fiction, Young Adult
Why I Read It: It released in 2009, and I was in the mood for something new.
Summary: Sam is Indian American but knows nothing about her Indian heritage. Then shortly after 9/11, a man in a turban shows up on her doorstep saying he’s her uncle.
Stopped on Page: 38
Why I Stopped: I loved reading about a culture I know so little about, but I stopped this one because the amount of telling got to me. I feel like it could have been tightened up a lot to avoid telling something we’re about to be shown as well. For example:
“Today I’m on my way to Molly’s house. They’re having a huge birthday celebration for Molly’s great-aunt Maggie. I love and hate Molly’s huge family gatherings. Love, because her family is awesome—they’re a blast to be around, and warm and welcoming. Hate, because when I’m in the midst of all that laughter and familyness, I feel more alone than ever.”
Then the scene right after this shows the exact same things we were just told.
Your Turn: Should I have kept going? Or was I right to stop?
Note: As an aspiring author, I respect the extraordinary amount of effort that goes into writing a book. I did not write this review in order to be unfair or negative about the book. My goal is simply to articulate why the book wasn’t for me.