Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review of The Clearing

In this bittersweet romance, two teens living decades apart form a bond that will change their lives forever.
     Amy is drawn to the misty, mysterious clearing behind her Aunt Mae’s place because it looks like the perfect place to hide from life. A place to block out the pain of her last relationship, to avoid the kids in her new town, to stop dwelling on what her future holds after high school.
     Then, she meets a boy lurking in the mist—Henry. Henry is different from any other guy Amy has ever known. And after several meetings in the clearing, she’s starting to fall for him.
     But Amy is stunned when she finds out just how different Henry really is. Because on his side of the clearing, it’s still 1944. By some miracle, Henry and his family are stuck in the past, staving off the tragedy that will strike them in the future. Amy’s crossing over to Henry’s side brings him more happiness than he’s ever known—but her presence also threatens to destroy his safe existence.
  [from Goodreads]

Rating:   2 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  Historical adventure readers
High point: Strong relationships
Low point:  Stilted dialogue
Reader maturity:  15+

I was crushed when I lost The Clearing over a year and a half ago. As I love historical fiction and YA romances, I was really looking forward to it. Upon reading it last week after I found my copy, my feelings are mixed.

I have high praise for Heather Davis' exposition of Henry and his secrets, although Amy's secrets were revealed with far less finesse. The romance and historical aspects were handled beautifully, as well as Amy's relationships with both her mother and (much more motherly) great aunt. Unfortunately, the dialogue is distractingly stilted, especially that in the contemporary portions of the book. The Clearing tackles issues of teenage awkwardness, but this surpasses poor social skills. The people who spoke most naturally were Henry and his family, which seems peculiar since Amy specifically notes to herself that they speak strangely.

The Clearing includes some adult matter, none of it graphic, but all of it needless, especially since it was out of character for the gentlemanly Henry and didn't serve to drive home any particular point. As I said, it's not graphic, but it lends a tone to the novel that makes it inappropriate for younger teens.

Other than the awkward dialogue, The Clearing was a sweet story about acceptance and the true meaning of love. While it didn't blow me away, it's perfect for a nice afternoon of escapism, and since the author did such a great job capturing the struggle of growing up, I'd like to check out some of her other works, like Wherever You Go.

Title:  The Clearing
Author:  Heather Davis
Genre:   Fiction - Historical
Year:   2010
Book Source:  Won from Fantastic Book Review

1 comment:

  1. Pity that you didn't enjoyed it so much. It sounds so great, so I think I'll give it a shot anyway!