Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Review: Vibes - Amy Kathleen Ryan

Published: October 6th 2008, Houghton Mifflin
Pages: 249 pages, paperback
Series?: Nope, standalone
Acquired: Kindly sent for review

Summary (from Goodreads): Gusty Peterson, the hottest bimboy in school, is always thinking I’m sick, as in totally gross to look at. Not that it matters, since I don’t have a crush on him or anything. And Mallory, my first real friend since forever, has disturbing romantic ideas about me and my ginormous gazungas.

Ask me if I’d rather not know these things.
I have enough to worry about with my dad showing up after two years of saving Africa from typhoid, ready to resuscitate our relationship. There’s something he’s not telling me. I know it.

And now I’ve been assigned to work with Gusty in a hideous new project the faculty are torturing us with at school. It’s so wonderful to explore yourself with someone who’s always thinking you’re sick.

I’d probably be a lot better off if I weren’t psychic after all...

My review: How has it taken me so long to read one of Ryan's books? I'm absolutely obsessed! She has such a unique voice and I already have another one of her books (Zen and Xander Undone) lined up to read soon. If you're a fan of YA and haven't picked up one of Ryan's books then I strongly suggest you do, she's fab!

Our heroine, Kristi, is just brilliant. Full of melodramatic teenage self loathing and her own strongest critic, I'm sure all of you with have felt like Kristi at one time or another and that's what makes Vibes such a great book. Although the storyline might not be completely realistic (I'm talking about the mind reading here, though I loved it) I think Ryan writes a fantastic depiction of a teenage girl struggling to fit in in high school.

I'm glad that Vibes doesn't shy away from the... less savoury side of being a teenager. We see swearing, slang and sexual innuendo aplenty and I loved it! Maybe some more sensitive readers might not be impressed by some of the language used (there are probably more slang words for boobs here than in an episode of South Park) but for me, not a problem at all. The fact is, it's how the majority of teenagers do talk and I felt real and modern.

Ryan examines our perception of beauty in a sweet, subtle way, which I really appreciated. It didn't feel at all self righteous or preachy, which is so important when writing for teenagers. I think anyone who reads Vibes will come away with a fresh take on looks, personality and how we perceive those around us. If you've read this one (or any of Amy Kathleen Ryan's other books) let me know what you thought as I haven't come across too many reviews of her books.

First line: 'It isn't easy being able to read minds.'

Read if you liked…: Fly on the Wall - E. Lockhart

Plot: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Total: 14/20 (B)


  1. Wow, Ive not heard of this author before! Thank you for making me add yet another stack of books to my wishlist. This sounds great!! :D

  2. I love the sound of this too, and I hadn't heard of it before either! Thank you!

  3. This sounds brilliant. I shall not thank you for adding to my wish-list ;D

  4. Thanks for the great review, because of it I bought the book and enjoyed it a lot. Will write my own review in the next days.


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