Thursday, August 15, 2013

Review: The Mysterious Plasticity of Trees by Charlotte Noble

Publisher: Self-Published
Pages: 208
Received: Received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: February 16, 2013
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Goodreads Synopsis:

A luminous coming-of-age story with a haunting Gothic twist—a work of Fitzgeraldian lyricism that perfectly captures the lives of the young at the frenzied end of the Naughts.

Summer, 2008 -- 21-year-old Tess Morrow feels herself on the verge, working as an intern at Vanity Fair and having casual flings with older men by night. The world, too, is near the edge of a long, intoxicating night, with the heady seductiveness of the Manhattan elite on one side; and on the other, the idyll of the ivory tower, where the young and beautiful pore over books by day, and dance and drink until dawn.

Precocious yet naive, cynical yet tender, Tess's self-discipline is put to the test when she falls for a married filmmaker with dazzling charms. Fleeing his advances, Tess returns to Princeton, determined to make good of her final year; but before long, she finds herself losing grip on everything she cherishes, alone before a world that has changed overnight. And through her struggles with sex, money, career, and friendship, Tess discovers the family secret that finally reveals the truth about herself, in an unexpected and haunting conclusion.

My Review:

I really enjoy coming-of-age stories, and this is one story that I was intrigued by the synopsis. Tess is on her way to college graduation and is trying very hard to find a job for when she finishes school. I have to admit that I was not a fan of Tess's character throughout this book. I felt that Tess's character was overdone, and her life was made out to be a little over the top. I couldn't wrap my head around her choices, I wanted her to make the right decisions. I understand that Tess is at a point in her life where everything is confusing but it was hard to get behind some of the things she does.

I did hope that everything would work out for Tess, you see that she has had a difficult life, losing her mother at a very young age and she was sent to live with her aunt. You can tell that her relationship with her family is off and that she is not treated as one of the family. Her upbringing was difficult and she can tell she is unwanted, so she pushes herself more, and I find that is the reason that she has these casual flings.

I do feel that the timing of the novel was off for me. It seemed that everything went by too quickly and that some things that happened were a little unrealistic. I think that the year that this book takes place in goes by too quickly, and that Tess happens to change overnight. I don't think she really learned anything about herself through her struggles and that made this story difficult to get through.

I really wanted to like Tess's character but everything she did was annoying and I disliked her view on life. She never asked for help, she expected her family to see that she needed something and to offer help. I will say that I enjoyed the ending, and that it showed Tess beginning to get her life together. Though I do think that certain parts of this story were glossed over and I felt that there wasn't resolution to certain things.

I was honestly hoping for a little more from the book and that some things were fleshed out a little more. But the ending cleared up a few questions I had and gave me hope for Tess in the future.

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