The Stone Forest, by Karen Harper

>> Wednesday, October 16, 2002

The other book I started is The Stone Forest, by Karen Harper. Sounds interesting.

Plot summary:

"On Jenna Kirk's 16th birthday the day of her first kiss from her longtime crush, Mace MacCamon, her charismatic older sister's boyfriend Jenna and her sister, Mandi, are abducted from the yard of their home in a Midwestern quarry town. Several days later, Jenna alone is found wandering in her grandfather's stone forest of eerie carvings, drugged, with her memory gone.

Fifteen years later, Jenna returns to uncover the truth. But as she regains her memory, someone tries to scare her off, and the culprit may be someone she trusts most: Mace, who was the prime suspect in Mandi's presumed death; Jenna's driven mother, who's utilized the tragedy to become Indiana's first female lieutenant governor; a psychiatrist who has urged Jenna to repress rather than work through her past; or a stalker who's either a Norman Bates-type psycho in women's clothes or Mandi back from the dead"
Posted later...

I'm still reading The Hippopotamus Pool and have resumed reading The Stone Forest. So far, I've been able to get into it better than last week, though I don't know why that idiot Jenna doesn't treat the harassment she's getting as the grave matter that it is.

...and posted later still:

I finally managed to finish The Stone Forest. Luckily it got moving at the end, when Jenna decides in earnest to really start investigating what happened to Mandi. The solution mostly made sense, and the last quarter of the book was easier to read, so this meant my grade for the book was bumped up from D to C. However, this one still goes on my trade shelf. It was obvious, actually. It's not a good sign when a book takes you 2 weeks to read.

I had lots of problems with this book:

  • The dialogue sounded wrong. Strictly the dialogue, the rest of the writting style didn't bother me. Gil (who's supposed to be English) was especially badly done. He sounded like an American trying to sound British and not succeeding very much. A couple of "bloodys", a couple of "blokes" is not enough. Incidentally, I'm no specialist on Brit-speak, but it seems to me you don't call someone "you bloke".

  • Mace never really came alive to me. I never understood what made him tick. Jenna I did get, but he remained an enigma to the very end.

  • The love story between Jenna and Mace was terrible. It made no sense. When he first kisses her, for instance, I went "huh?, What are they doing". The problem was probably that they had 0 chemistry together.

  • Jenna sometimes behaved TSTL.
The only things that I liked were the setting (the caving expedition at the end of the book was great) and Mace and Jenna's occupations, which were fun and original. Otherwise, this book was a waste of time.

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