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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Review: Our Song by Jordanna Fraiberg

Publication Date: May 2, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
Stand alone novel
Young Adult
Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Olive Bell has spent her entire life in the beautiful suburb of Vista Valley, with a picture-perfect home, a loving family, and a seemingly perfect boyfriend. But after a near-fatal car accident, she’s haunted by a broken heart and a melody that she cannot place.

     Then Olive meets Nick. He’s dark, handsome, mysterious . . . and Olive feels connected to him in a way she can’t explain. Is there such a thing as fate? The two embark on a whirlwind romance—until Nick makes a troubling confession.

     Heartbroken, Olive pieces together what really happened the night of her accident and arrives at a startling revelation. Only by facing the truth can she uncover the mystery behind the song and the power of what it means to love someone.
*Advanced Reader's Copy was provided by Razorbill for an honest review *

A cute contemporary piece with hidden memories that kept me awaiting the huzzah moment when the mystery was finally revealed. Our Song kept me interested between the dashing British boy, Nick, and the prolonging mystery of what happened the night of Olives horrific car accident. It was sweet and enjoyable, I read it in one sitting.

The romantic side of Nick, that dapper British fellow with a grim past, made the book enjoyable for me. Even the strange and quirky meeting between Olive and Nick at a group where people have apparently died and then come back to life. The mysterious charm of Nick brings Olive to question and wonder who he is. The one thing that I give Olive credit for is not following him out the door, this strange boy she has seen once and only knows by name, on their first meeting. But, the romantic and adventurous Nick brings life to these different places that Our Song revolves around, and each place has more character than the last.

So Nick and the scenery of the novel give Our Song the invigorating character and personality that I found to really enjoy. I also really like British characters. It's fun to imagine them talking in their British accent :)

Olive became quite a frustrating character towards throughout the course of Our Song. She really needed to learn how to set her priorities. Then again, that is where her character development was sought out the most. The thing that I happened to dislike about Olive was her dependence on boys in her life. 

And I couldn't put a finger on what Olive really saw in Derek. Between ignoring her after the accident happened and then completely throwing their two year relationship out the window for the pompous, sleazy cheerleader (typical cliche) named Betsy, Derek is a dick with a capital D. And I'm using the font change to really emphasize how much of a douchenozzle the guy is in my eyes. So, I'm on Annie's side when I say that Derek is not worth Olive's time of day. Just his constant nitpicking at trying to weasel his way back into her life, trying to talk to her and say that "they're good" or "they're still friends" had me grinding down my teeth. And the last scene. I just can't. Let's just say that I'm proud of Olive's decision. She really gave me a change of heart, even through the constant infuriating, immature decisions she has made through the course of the novel.

Annie happened to be my favorite character of this entire book. She's a caring friend, funny, sassy when she needs to be, and know's what is right for Olive. It's such a shame the way she's treated by her best friend. Thrown out like trash whenever a boy takes precedence in her life.

There were some descriptions that didn't really work for me in the novel. I found myself writing question marks next to them in my ARC. I don't know if they were changed in the finished copy, but here'e what I have in mine.
"Classroom doors swung open like dominos."
 OUR SONG advanced readers copy, p.104

When I think of dominoes, I don't find them swinging open, I find them falling down. The image didn't really register in the way Fraiberg was conveying it. I think looking back at it now, maybe the doors and the way that they all opened, resembled dominoes being lined up? I felt like there could have been a better way to describe that image.
"When I took a sip, it had the vague and acrid taste of poison."

How does Olive know what poison tastes like? An ambiguous and exaggerated description.  There could have been some other way for Olive's character to describe the taste of the scotch her father was drinking that she happens to take a sip of. Poison seems melodramatic in Olive's case. 

Pacing flowed extremely well. Jordanna Fraiberg mastered the art of keeping secrets hidden, revealing bit by bit until slamming the truth in your face. I loved it. So that final scene with Derek and Olive, my jaw fell. I should have put the pieces together, but my mind was elsewhere when Nick's name came across the pages.

Final Summation: A fun and cute read. OUR SONG, though with it's flaws, still was an enjoyable story with vivid scenes and strong supporting characters who hold up the flaws of the main characters. Though I preferred Annie over Olive and Nick over Derek, I was still happy in the end with mostly every character. Still not Derek's biggest fan. A different take on modern young love that contemporary fans will enjoy. 

First Line: "Almost home," my father said, clearing his throat.
Story: A
Cover: A