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April 02, 2012

Review: Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers

Dying to Know You

Title: Dying to Know You
Author: Aidan Chambers
Publication date: April 1st, 2012
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Challenges: Contemporary
Source: NetGalley
Pages: 288
In Dying to Know You, award-winning author Aidan Chambers has created an indelible portrait of a young man discovering his own voice in the world, and has constructed a love story that is as much about the mind as it is the heart. In this contemporary love story, a teenage boy named Karl enlists a famous writer to help him impress his girlfriend, Fiorella. She has asked him to write her a letter in which he reveals his true self. But Karl isns favorite author and begs him to take up the task. The writer reluctantly assents, on the condition that Karl agree to a series of interviews, so that the letter will be based on an authentic portrait of Karl. The letter, though effective, has unexpected consequences for Karl, Fiorella, and the writer.
I was a bit hesitant in starting Dying to know you, for once, it was narrated by an older man (in his 60s, based on some descriptions), and that is a first for young adult novels! Basically Karl, an 18 year old boy, asks for help from this older man, to help him with his girlfriend. Fiorella, the girlfriend, gave Karl a list of questions and asked him to answer them, a way to get to know Karl better. Karl thought that what better way to do it than getting help from Fiorella's favorite author? For whatever reason, the older man, the AUTHOR, accepted this challenge. This is when the story truly begins. 
I was so intrigued! Everything that happened was told from the author's point of view, it was definitely different! The first 50 or so pages sucked me right into the story; you witnessed the problems Karl had with his life, the growing bond Karl and the author, and also the letters that the author wrote based on the interviews he had with Karl. I only have one wish, and it was that I wished the duo formed more letters/answered more questions. I loved the limited letters that were written. Imagine getting to know someone through questions/answer format. You get to understand Karl more, but at the same time I got even more confused. I kept on comparing him with my brother, Karl felt lost, floating in this world aimlessly.. maybe because of his condition, his creativity surprised me. the way he evaluated the surroundings, the meaning of his life, and what he is meant to be. He is definitely an enjoyable character. Aidan Chambers wrote such a simplistic book, without any major drama and I still stuck to it to the end and actually enjoyed it very much!! I am really liking the direction contemporaries are heading, they're not just the cuteness they used to be, but actually have meaning.  
 3.5 musical notes!

1 comment:

  1. It does sound different from the typical contemporary YA! don't know how i'll feel about a very old narrator but you seem to have liked it. thanks for the review!