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Dying to Know You Book Report


I’ve always loved contemporary fiction, especially in YA. You seem to get that little something extra that stops and makes you think. Not necessarily about big things, but just think. It’s no surprise that I fell in love with Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers from the very first page.

It’s not a prolific book. The meaning of life isn’t discovered. But the change that happens in the lives of the narrator (an unnamed old man) and Karl (an 18 year-old boy) is so real and moving in a very….I’m trying to come up with the exact words…in just a very natural and simple way. It’s beautiful, really.

I can’t pinpoint exactly why I liked the novel so much (probably the writing style, the characters, the voice of the older man, the story line, the character development–I could go on). It was fresh. It’s written by an English author (and I admit, this is the first one I’ve read in YA fiction), so that was a unique experience. Their writing style is so different from ours in the US. For one, they love exclamation points! Like, a lot! There’s a few other grammatical and punctuation differences, and the fact that they use an “s” instead of a “z” or “c”. And I loved reading new words and hearing new sayings.

One of my favorite things Chambers did was turn real-life situations, that were pretty subtle, into extremely hilarious scenes. I think it was the fact that I could actually see them happening in my head and know that events would really play out the way he described. Now, I was going to go back to my Nook notes I took to give you more examples, but the lending period has expired and I don’t have them anymore. 😦 So take my word on the fact that this is a book worth your time. It’s a beautiful story that was stunningly written.

I don’t know if I agree wholeheartedly with the categorization of this book being YA. Yes, there is a YA in it, Karl, and his girlfriend, but the voice/narrator is that of an old man. The more I read, the more I started questioning if it really should be labeled as YA. I don’t want to tell you too much because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but the way Chambers uses Karl’s faults and story/character arc to shape the narrator’s and bring him back full circle was simply brilliant. I will be picking up more of Aidan Chamber’s books, that’s for sure!

That was a little jumbled, but I really didn’t want to spoil anything for any of you. As always, pick it up for yourself when it comes out in April and decide for yourself. 🙂 Happy reading, my friends!

–Me

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