Ugh. You know what one of the worst feelings for me is? When I read a book and Iím honestly not quite sure what I just read. I mean, I like being confused, and feeling like Iím being pulled in twenty different directions without knowing which one is the right one and there is excitement and tension and I canít seem to put down the book. I do not like when Iím reading a book and spend most of the time doing this:
Unfortunately, this is what happened when I was reading The Turning by Francine Prose.
I am so disappointed. I really wanted to like The Turning. It sounded like it had so much potential, and even though I have never read the story which it is based on (The Turn of the Shrew), I was still interested to read this retelling for a younger audience. Admittedly, it started off on a good note with a creepy setting which could have built so much suspense. I mean, remote haunted island with mysterious little kids? It was practically begging for goosebumps on the arms and chills up and down the spine but unfortunately, it just did not deliver.
I think one of the biggest problems I had was the style in the way it was written. A part from the potentially awesome creepy setting, there was just so much lacking in the book for me. Starting with the fact that the story is told mainly through letters that the main character Jack is sending to his girlfriend Sophie and his father as he is away working on the island taking care of a two children. This just did not work. There was just no flow and it felt awkward and the transitions between the letters often times came out of nowhere. It was like ďBAM! Something happens hereĒ, and I would be like ďWhat did I just read?Ē. It was so frustrating!
Another thing that was frustrating was the character of Jack himself. I could not for the life of me understand this character, and honestly I found myself not really caring as to what was happening to him. He seemed very whiny and became very bizarre in a not so good way. I just could not connect with him. And I couldnít understand what was happening to him. Was he losing his mind? Having delusions? Becoming possessed? I just didnít understand. I also found the relationship between him and Sophie to be very weird.
I guess Iím just so disappointed because I did feel like The Turning had so much potential. Maybe itís because I havenít read the book that it was based off of but, I just didnít get the story. I didnít understand what was happening to the main character, or if there were ghosts, or if something was wrong with the children, or the island itself. And itís not creepy, or fun but instead is actually kind of annoying and messy, and all over the place. I just Ö did not care that much for it.† It may appeal to others (in particular younger readers) but not me.
Disclosure: An ARC was given to me by April
Other reviews of The Turning by Francine Prose: