A Straight Line To My Heart by Bill Condon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A Straight Line To My Heart is a cute, little book.
It's a snapshot of a week of Tiff's life, right after she graduates. She lives in Gungee Creek - a place where nothing ever happens - together with her foster father, Reggie, and her foster brother, Bull. For the foreseeable future, Tiff is going to start a sort of internship at a local newspaper, hoping it will lead to a cadetship and then to a proper job.
But it's not so much what happens in this book that really matters because truly, you might find the plot too simple, even a bit banal and certainly predictable.
What makes this book worth reading are the clever dialogues and the characters we meet in the course of the story.
Case in point: the dialogue.
I originally wanted to rate this book 3 stars until I got to this passage where one of the characters shows up at the MC's door and gives her this note:
I like you but you mightn't feel the same way about me, and I wouldn't blame you. To save us both from any awkward moments I've figured out an easy way to do this. Nod if you're even slightly interested in getting to know me. Write a ten page explanation if you're not.
I laughed for half an hour and I think it's brilliant. I wish it had happened to me.
Also, even though I am not Australian - but I have read my fair share of Aussie YA lately - I can feel this book as truly Australian. Not only in the settings, but mainly in the dialogue, the banter and the sense of humor. It's not about kids who plan to go to Harvard, it's about kids who finish high school and don't have a clue about what job they'll end up getting.
Or, in Tiff's words:
I'm not into class, I'm into people.
As is this book.
It's into people. It focalizes mainly on family, friendship and love with a pleasantly realistic insight and with a good sense of humor. It's a light read, but definitely not shallow in any way. Tiff's voice is very distinctive and real and what is all the more interesting is that the author of this voice is a man. I don't think I have read many books where a male author was successful in portraying a female voice like in this one.
My main complaint with A Straight Line To My Heart is that it's far too short. I loved the characters and I wish I'd spent more time with them and got to known them a bit better. It definitely left me wanting for more, even though I have to confess, the ending is just brilliant as it is.
Definitely recommended, as far as Aussie YA goes, this is one of the good ones.
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