Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book Review: You Are My Only

You are my only is a story told in alternating voices, Sophie's and Emmy's.  Sophie is a teenage girl who knows nothing other than being on the run with her mother.  She isn't allowed to leave whatever home they currently live in and is subject to her mother's obsessions, especially with the "No Good" that they must constantly be on the alert for.  Emmy is a mother who takes a few steps away from her baby only to find her daughter missing, with nothing left but a yellow sock.

Not a fan.  Almost every other review talks about how "poetic" the writing is, but for me it just felt like the author was trying really really hard to sound "poetic".  Instead every single character comes across as if they are either mentally handicapped or psychologically unstable.  And I do understand that some of the characters are supposed to be crazy.  And I also understand the Sophie has no way of being "normal" having been brought up in isolation.  But Emmy, Joey (the boy Sophie meets), and Joey's family all speak so "poetically" that they sound crazy (or stupid) as well.  Overall the entire thing read to me like the author was trying so hard to make her narration sound poetic and unique that she missed out on any believability.

Entertainment Value
My issues with the writing really overcame my ability to enjoy the book as a whole.  It was an awkward read with awkward wording that, for me, constantly inserted the author into the story.  Instead of focusing on how awesome and interesting the story was, I was thinking about how hard the author was trying to sound literary.  It didn't work for me at all.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend it.  It had a great premise, but I really did not care for the writing, I didn't like the characters because their voices were so inauthentic, and the ending tried too hard to be literary.


  1. Uh oh. Yours is the first negative review I have read of this book so I am a little scared. I read Dangerous Neighbors by this author last year and didn't really like it, but I was hoping it was just the book and not the author. I have this one so I am going to give it a go and if it falls flat for me, I think I will give up on Kephart.

  2. I have to say that I wrote this immediately after I read it a month or so ago and scheduled it to post today. Since I read it and wrote my review, I've read nothing but good things about it from other bloggers, including bloggers whose opinions I value. That said, I still maintain that the book wasn't well-written and wasn't believable.