Monday, 16 July 2012

In the Middle of Nowhere by Julie Ann Knudsen


A teenage girl. A broken heart. And a boy who tries to mend it. 

Butterflies. Little, fluttering butterflies. That's what fifteen-year-old Willow Flynn feels in the pit of her stomach every time the mysterious boy is near. But Willow has other things to contend with as she deals with the tragic loss of her father, as well as her emotionally preoccupied mother, while being uprooted to a new house, a new school, a new life, far away, on an island, in the middle of nowhere. 

At the beginning of the school year, the sickly, but cute Michael sends Willow the first of many cryptic notes during homeroom. He stares at Willow and gives her the creeps. Michael never returns to school after that, but Willow ends up connecting with the poetic boy on-line where they strike up an unusual friendship 

As Willow attempts to fit in and find her niche in the ever-cliquey high school world, she is further confused by Michael who strives to win her over and mend her broken heart. But will he be able to, especially when his own existence remains so uncertain? 

First of all I want to thank Ali the moderator of the Teen Romance group on goodreads (if you have a goodreads account you should check it out, it's an awesome group) and the author, Julie Ann Knudsen, for giving me the chance to read this book and sending me a copy. 

In the Middle off Nowhere is a story about family problems, fitting in at a new school and a new place, and the mistakes everyone makes when we are young. Willow's mother has just lost her job and they are forced to move to her uncles summer home on a small island "in the middle of nowhere". Willow has to deal with leaving her friends behind, and making new ones, her mother moving on after her fathers death five years ago and the affections of a mysterious boy she likes but doesn't know anything about.

The characters in this story were really well developed, they all felt very realistic to me, and I enjoyed that. I didn't particularly like Willow's character very much, I couldn't really connect with her. I think the reason for this is because throughout the course of the book she is being a teenager, and doing things normal teenagers do, and because I was everything opposite to just about every teenager in the world and I never broke any of my mothers rules or went behind her back I couldn't really relate to her. But I think she is a great teenage character that many people will be able to relate to as she deals with fitting in, peer pressure and all the things that come with being a teenager. 

I really liked Michael's character. I loved his happy, positive outlook on life. I would have liked to see more of Willow and Michael's relationship, but I enjoyed it none the less. Brian really bugged me. I didn't like when he tried to act fatherly to Willow. My parents split up when I was around the same age Willow was when her father died, and even if my mother was with another man for 10 years I would still never consider him my father, but it could be different as mine is still around. 

As I said before, I felt that all of the characters, including the minor ones like Tessa's brother Jaques, were all well developed and felt realistic, making it an enjoyable read. I think In the Middle of Nowhere is a story that many people will enjoy and be able to relate to. I only gave it two stars as I couldn't personally relate to the character and the situations, but I would highly recommend checking it out. 

Thanks again to Julie Ann Knudsen for sending me a copy. 

Jammie the Book Nerd

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