Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lifted Review

Title: Lifted
Author: Wendy Toliver
Release Date: June 8, 2010

Summary (from www.barnesand noble.com) :

Being bad never felt so good.

Poppy Browne never stole anything in her life before moving to Pleasant Acres and meeting Mary Jane and Whitney. But when Poppy walks out of the mall with her two new friends and her first pair of stolen jeans, she's hooked.

Before long, Poppy is lifting whenever she gets the urge—it's never about the merchandise, it's always about the thrill. But when her secret gets out, Poppy's clique turns on each other. As she watches her life collapse around her, Poppy must decide where her loyalties lie...and how far she'll go to protect herself.

Outlined Review:
Character Development: 10/10
Originality: 9/10
Hookability: 9/10
Ending: 8/10
Voice: 8/10
Recommendation: 10/10
Total Score: 54
Grade: A

Age Appropriate Rating:
Cussing: 4/10
Drugs, alcohol, etc.: 1/10
Sexual Content: 4/10
Violence/Disturbing Images: 2/10

Written Review:

From the original and intriguing storyline to the insanely awesome chemistry between David and Poppy, from the friendship and family issues to the completely satisfying ending, from the questions it raises to the lesson it brings, there was definitely a lot to love about LIFTED. I read this whole 300 page book in two sittings. I just couldn’t stop.

Friendship was a main theme in this novel. Whitney and Mary Jane very quickly became Poppy’s best friends. I was wary of them from the beginning. Especially with Mary Jane’s ex-best friend Bridgette’s horror stories of Mary Jane’s bitter betrayal. But they did eventually grow on me. They were genuinely nice, popular girls who shared a very disturbing habit. But that habit heavily influenced Poppy and what started out as a little bit of peer pressure from them turned into a full blown addiction within a matter of weeks. The same people who Poppy needed to help pull her out of this mess pulled her in to it in the first place.

Poppy’s shoplifting addiction developed realistically and her thoughts appropriately became stronger as the addiction became harder to break. It was much easier to identify with Poppy seeing the habit develop from the simple start to the obsessive need that it became. She never liked herself for stealing. She knew it was wrong. She knew not to do it. But it’s a gray area between what makes a person ‘good’ and what makes a person ‘bad’. And sometimes making the right choice isn’t as easy as it should be.

Poppy was a great main character. The way her shoplifting habit affected her wasn’t lost on her either and she knew it needed to be stopped after each lift but the high was too much. The pressure she felt from her mother, the relief she felt when she lifted, and the inability to trust anyone with such a heavy burden were all issues she faced and voiced clearly. Her sense of humor and the way she connected with David was great too. He had such a charm about him that was a nice step back from the weightiness of Poppy’s habit.

The ending satisfied me though I can also see how some may view it as too happy for such a complex read. Consequences were doled out but relationships that almost seemed torn beyond repair were mended. And there was a somewhat happily ever after feel to the whole thing. I personally loved it though. I like books to end happy J

Another thing I loved (it was minor and maybe only related to me but still) was the tiny Texas Baptist town of Pleasant Acres. I do not live in a small Texas town but you can trace my roots back to one. One that may even be tinier than the one described in this book if you can imagine. But instead of the Baptist nature of Pleasant Acres, mine is a completely Catholic town with few of any other faith mixed in. How easy it was to gain information, the reputations you try to keep, the gossip that gets spread, the insults you can get away with as long as it is directly followed by or preceded with “bless her heart”, the faith driven community, the friendliness of the town, and overall the fact that almost every house has a porch swing, all reminded me of where my family is from and made that town seem so much more real and relatable to me which was nice. The main difference is I wouldn’t see our town as hick as Poppy made it seem to be in the very beginning. But who knows maybe it is and I just don’t know it?

With a topic that makes you think about the power of addiction, characters who make you question the lines between good people and bad choices, and writing that captures you and brings you deeper into the story with each page, LIFTED should be the next book you pick up. But please don’t steal it. (:



1 comment:

Shari Green said...

I haven't read anything by Wendy Toliver yet, but LIFTED sounds like one to add to my TBR pile for sure! Thanks for the great review -- I love how thorough and clear it is.