It’s book review time! Book excerpts in Italics
Yes, this is my first, and yes, it is going to be a thing that I will be doing now. Book reviews! But only books that I read on the rare occasions that I get to read these days. I’m not reviewing books just for the sake of popularity.
So, I took about a month to read this which is sad because it is just 148 pages. There were days when a book this length would get read in an hour but in my defense I am no longer 13 years old. Back then my only dilemma was reading too many books instead of doing my lessons. These days, reading is a luxury that I only get to do on my commute to work, that is when I’m not busy writing.
Now All Over Again by A-dziko Simba Gegele was honestly not a choice I made myself. I stole it off my mother’s reading list which happens to be the Caribbean Books reading list. I choose it because it was safe, meaning it didn’t pertain to any genre I am currently writing which I try to stay away from when reading to avoid any unconscious plagiarism.
It took me awhile to get used to the main character and their thought processing and there is a lot of repetitive thought processing going on. But by the third chapter I got used to it and it even made sense as a writing style. It felt like I was reading an old Republic Reader ‘Boyo and Carla’ Caribbean reading book at times.
Now, I understand why Republic Reader did it. It teaches and drills in the building up of basic sentence structure. Yes, we get it. But…
“You are going mad. They are going mad. Everybody in the place is going mad.”
But, you could have just said the last sentence straight away to begin with. Yes, right? And my fourteen year old niece noticed the trend on her own and she’s not a big reader or writer. But then I reminded myself that this is a book for ages 7-12 and I have heard children of this age talk in much the same way. So, it fits.
The good thing though was that only the actual thought process of the young boy was like that, the rest of the book’s descriptive landscape was engaging (even though technically it still was coming from his thought process) mainly because it captured the open and honest exclamations of a child. Which were immensely hilarious.
“From somewhere in your mind you hear your mother’s voice
‘Now, no bother get your father unreasonable, you hear?’
She tells you this all the time. She thinks it is you. It is not you. It is him. He gets unreasonable all by himself.
And when he gets himself unreasonable, he asks questions, unreasonable questions like, ‘You think me stupid?’ or ‘So me and you born same time?’
He has hundreds of them. Questions that no one in their right mind would even try to answer.”
I also only realised while I was doing this review that the author never actually mentions the name of the main character, the young boy whose eyes we are viewing his world through. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
I honestly do not know how to rate this tactic. I think it is brilliant that she pulled it off with little need to make it necessary to know his name. How many times have I battled over the perfect name for a main character? I would love to do that and she did it effortlessly. It was an ingenious move that could have gone awry. I didn’t miss it. The book didn’t need it. But correct me if I’m wrong and it was there.
I particularly love that she touched on so many troubles/adventures/experiences that a growing young man could go through during that time in his life and the relationships he shared with those around him. The book has the potential to be relatable on many levels and across many age groups.
It waves the flag of ‘boy days’ high and I am sure either gender will find it nostalgic despite the fact that the book seems to be set in our current time. They had cell phones and ‘silver-grey Lincoln MKZ’s and NO marbles!
Pitch! It can also be played inside so you never know! Today’s children may know what marble sports really are about!
So I think we can safely say that the book is in our current time.
It’s good. It may not be a fantasy story but it’s a relatable story. It may not have vampires and werewolves and armies raging wars but it can suddenly be as fast paced and move with the same urgency. A-dziko’s ‘boyo’ is experiencing new responsibilities and new feelings during his twelfth year. He’s finding that some of those things are hard to swallow and are even harder to understand but some of his experiences he would do all over again.
So read the book, it’s good, end of review. 😀
“When you reach Seven Valleys, you and all the other people come spurting out of the bus like shook up soda spurting out of a bottle. Your body is all bent out of shape – you think you have time to worry about that? You crazy? You are in the middle of Victoria Avenue and Victoria Avenue is full of cars. You weave in and out of the cars, weave like you dribbling ball. Weave and dodge and LOOK OUT! … Oh God man, you want to kill yourself?” ;P
– Written by Travesaou
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