Sunday, May 1, 2011

Review: Blank Confession

Shayne Blank, sixteen, mysterious and calm, turns up at the police station.  He wants to turn himself in.  He tells the police that he's killed someone.

As an officer named Rawls listens, Shayne tells his story.

Entertainment: ★★★★★

It was gripping.  This book is not to be taken lightly.  It's dark, it's dangerous, and it's thrilling.

Plot: ★★★

It started off okay - in fact, it started off really well.  I loved how the book started with Shayne's confession and them jumped around to tell parts of the story, always keeping the real truth just barely hidden.

However, I ended the book with two problems: one, I couldn't tell who the main character was.  I wanted it to be Shayne - I liked Shayne - but two-thirds of the story are told from the point of view of a random kid named Mikey.  So maybe Mikey was the main character.  I don't know.  I wish there had been some sort of clear dividing line - one main character, or two, not a confusing one-and-a-half main characters.  My second issue with this book was the ending.  Not so much the actual murder scene, but  the epilogue-type scenes.  That part of the ending was just weird, and confusing, and ruined any closure I was feeling.  Honestly I would've preferred not to find out the information given there.

Characters: ★★★★

Shayne was pretty cool.  I liked him.  I liked how he was all strong, dark, mysterious, whatever - but he wasn't perfect.  One of the other characters blatantly states that he has a huge ego.  I thought Mikey was okay too, a little quirky and maybe outright weird, but interesting.  And he had a nice perspective.  And I very much liked Rawls.  The side characters were a little lacking, a little two-dimensional for my tastes, but I liked the main characters enough that I didn't mind too much.

Oh, and the villain.  I thought he was realistic (rare), had his somewhat-understandable reasons for being a sucky person (even rarer) and although I didn't like how his particular story arc ended I thought he was excellent.  He was dark enough to make the reader hate him but not stupidly, overdone-ly evil.

Writing: ★★★★

Really my only complain is that all the characters' voices and narrations sound the same.  Other than that, I very much enjoyed Hautman's writing.

End Result: four stars.  A good book, definitely worth your time.

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