Friday, June 5, 2009

Book Review: the Secret Journal of Brett Colton by Kay Lynn Mangum

Kathy Colton can't stand her brother Brett. Her family talks as if he were perfect! All Kathy knows for sure is that Brett is dead. He died of leukemia when he was seventeen and she was only two. But when Kathy turns sixteen, she discovers her brother's hidden journal - a journal written especially for her - and learns about the brother she never knew. At the same time, Kathy is mortified by an assignment to tutor the popular high school quarterback Jason West, a football jock who, even worse, is a Mormon. Author Kay Lynn Mangum brilliantly weaves the dual stories of a dying brother and a coming-of-age sister who learn the importance of loving our family and our friends and nurturing our faith.

summary from back of book

What i thought: i thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel, and found that while it wasnt nessecarily a "happy book," there were definitely times that i was laughing, or had a grin on my face.

Mangum's writing style had the standard, strong voice of a promising author, and i very much enjoyed that she rarely bored us with little things that we truly couldnt care less about (such as restaurant titles, details on every single class assignment, and etc)--she stuck to the good stuff. There was never a moment when i thought "can you just get on with it already?" which is generally a major issue for me when it comes to reading--the one thing i absolutely cannot stand is having the urge to skip while reading a novel.

The characters were all very well developed, and by the time i turned the last page i really felt as if i knew Kathy and her family, as if Brett was my own brother. The emotions throughout the book were all very clear, and helped me understand more about the story and its characters tha ni would ahve thought possible. Mangum weaved the beliefs of the Mormon in beautifully with the story, and i myself even found a connection to the fascinating religion.

Brett's illness was interesting as well, and as if i wasn't stuck in the story already, the start of his journal entries left me with no way out. His love for Kathy was truly astounding, and i was amazed by the fact that her parents never even mentioned it. Just the mere fact that she had never really been regarded--well, just really ever cared about or dotted upon by her family after Brett's death really caught me by surprise. If i were her, i would most likely have some contempt for Brett as well--at least before she read the journal, and truly got to know him, and finally understood how much he cared for her.

Kathy and Jason's relationship also was fairly entertaining. As i most definitely am one for romantics, i very much enjoyed reading about her very, er, amusing romantic life. The romance aspect made me only love the book more.

There's really only one thing i've got to say--Kay Lynn Mangum has got some real talent on her hands!

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1 comment:

Michelle said...

I've never heard of this but it sounds really good. Thanks for the heads up! =D

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