Becoming Chloe - Catherine Ryan Hyde

Genre: Fiction
Synopsis: Jordy is on his own in New York City, and it's working fine, until Chloe comes along. She's 18, blond and pretty. She's seen things no-one should ever see. She knows the world is an ugly place, and needs Jordy to prove her wrong. Together they hit the road to discover the truth - and there's no going back from what they find out.


Review: Hmm. I started out really enjoying this book, and I had high hopes for it based on my previous reading of a full-length adult novel and a shorter YA novel by this author. Unfortunately it just didn't evoke much of a response from me. It's not a bad book, Hyde's writing is still excellent. I didn't particularly dislike the characters, but I didn't particularly like them either. I was curious about Chloe's past and her resulting present condition, but nothing is really explained about that. Jordy's situation is made a little more clear, and he's a more likeable character, but ultimately I wasn't hugely invested in either.

The plot seems to be a mishmash, it changes from teen drama to heart-wrenching old-guy-with-dog story to a roadtrip story and I guess for me all these individual elements felt like great snapshots of other stories, but they didn't gel together for me at all. I loved a couple of the secondary characters, including the aforementioned old-guy-with-dog, and also Randy, the wheelchair-bound mountain climber. Both characters wrung a few tears out of me, but as they were only small parts in a bigger story, they really just made the whole thing feel disjointed.

I guess my biggest issue with this story is that it is about a combination of indifference and deep sadness, and an attempt to find beauty and happiness in the world. I feel that a book like that should ultimately move me and make *me* feel happy and grateful for the beautiful things in the world, too. But for one reason or another, it just fell flat for me. It hasn't put me off reading more of Hyde's novels, it's entirely possible that others will love this book, but it just wasn't for me.

Rating: 2/5

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