Title: Becoming Chloe
Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books For Young Readers
“Jordy is on his own in New York City, and it’s working fine, until Chloe comes along. She’s 18, blond and pretty. She’s seen things no-one should ever see. She knows the world is an ugly place, and needs Jordy to prove her wrong. Together they hit the road to discover the truth – and there’s no going back from what they find out.”
I would say this is going to be more a rant than a review, and the reason for that is, I was almost fully annoyed by this book. I wrote in my notebook the notes for the review, and there are so many more bad points than there is good, so this ought to be fun.
Firstly, I picked up this book because I thought it was a sign, mainly because the girls name is Chloe, and also she is 18. These two things are literally me. I am Chloe and I am 18. See? Oh and she sees the world as a hard place to live in, just as I do, so I thought this would be like looking in a mirror, well if that mirror was like one you would find in a circus, because when I started reading, it was not as I expected at all.
Within the first few pages there is mention of rape, and for some reason, whenever Jordy, the other main character in this story tries to explain what he saw, no one seems to care. This book seems to play off rape as if it is absolutely nothing. What? The same is also done for mental illness, which didn’t settle well for me. Maybe others won’t see it this way, but I really did, and I am truly disturbed by how the author portrays the two. How are they both treated as no big deal? How?
After this, there seemed to be no real climax to the story until about the last 30 or so pages. Even that seemed a little bit forced to me, and seemed to be resolved in about half a page.
If this wasn’t bad enough, we are promised a road trip, but that wasn’t what I expected either. One minute you could be reading one thing in one setting, and on the next page, you would be reading about something completely different, which was set somewhere else. The same goes for characters, some of which come into the story without any real context as to who they are, or why they are there. I don’t understand. Am I expected to fill in the blanks or something?
All of this left me with questions that I wanted answering, but they were not. I felt let down, by what I thought was going to be such a great read.
However, I will say that I liked the relationship between Chloe and Jordy. That was clearly thought out more than the rest of the book. Individually they weren’t developed well, but together, their friendship definitely was. Oh and I did admire the concept of the book, although it may not have been executed in they way I would have liked.
Oh well! You can’t love them all.