Monday, March 3, 2008

Finding Daddy

Louis Plummer’s The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman is one of my all-time favorite young adult novels. The writing is delightful, Kate is a charming character, and the romance is every girl’s dream.

I was surprised and delighted to come across Finding Daddy in the library last week. It’s been years since Plummer released a new book, so I felt as if I’d stumbled across a treasure.

Although not nearly as appealing as Unlikely Romance, Finding Daddy starts with a similarly light tone. Mira Kent is a teenager with a loyal best friend, a dreamy boyfriend, and a strong desire to find her biological father.

The writing is a bit awkward, and I felt like I’d fallen into a time warp with teenagers named Barry, Ted, and Joe, but I was willing to forgive these weaknesses in hopes of some charm and romance.

SPOILER ALERT: I was in for a huge disappointment. The book’s tone and content change dramatically midway through. The magic of teenage love is suddenly replaced with terror, torture, and bloodshed. Mira makes incredibly stupid and frustrating mistakes, and I found it difficult to like and sympathize with her.

Overall, I found the novel’s tone and content disturbing. This reaction may be because I was expecting an entirely different book, but a sense of unease followed me for several hours after finishing Finding Daddy.

If you are looking for a disturbing YA novel, this is the book for you. If you want a romantic romp, pick up The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman instead.

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