Monday, January 28, 2013

Review of Casey Barnes Eponymous by E.A. Rigg

Amazon Digital Services
Casey Barnes Eponymous
by E.A. Rigg
3 Scribbles

Casey is a connoisseur of all things musical; she takes her knowledge of music and creates short playlists for individuals at her school.  Her goal?—To Help her classmates develop much-needed coolness or character; give them a “musical fish” so to speak and help those uncool peers of hers “feed…for a lifetime.” Her ability to diagnose the shortcomings of her classmates with obscure, yet typically spot-on, musical medication is eerie and ironic, especially since Casey has a thing for the highly toxic Alex Deal, and he’s rife with shortcomings. Alex isn’t exactly a prescription for the straight-and-narrow, but he’s hot, and he’s a rocker, just like Casey. How can she possibly resist him?
I must say that I didn’t find myself completely invested in this novel until the end of chapter four, when the reader learns about Casey’s previous hook up with Alex Deal and how it all went horribly wrong. That being said, the beginning chapters do give the reader a glimpse of Casey’s saucy and irreverent attitude, and introduce Casey’s best friend, Leigh, who is clearly a foil to Casey and Casey’s better half.  Once the Alex/Casey conflict heats up, however, I was hooked. I love how the novel examines the age-old question of why we gals seem to fall for jerks who only care about themselves. Given her sass you’d think Casey could see that Alex has the depth of a mud puddle, but alas, like most of us gals, she’s enamored by his pure hotness and gives him a shot (perhaps one time too many). The dialogue is exceptional, especially the dialogue between Casey and her brother Yull, and Casey and Leigh, so good that at times I found myself snickering out loud. Casey’s sarcasm is textbook teen, and I enjoyed her one-liners. Yull is perhaps my favorite character, protective big brother with a sophisticated, Yoda-like wisdom; and that’s a good thing, since Casey’s connection with and respect for authority is shaky at best.  She doesn’t realize it, but she needs Yull. Some of the scenes throughout the novel seem rushed and could be fleshed out more with dialogue and action rather than a summary of conversations or events, but chapter transitions work well and renew the readers’ interest with appropriate “teasers” that make the reader want to know what happens next. Some references to musicians and actors (i.e. Charo) may be foreign to readers, but it seems getting a musical education is a byproduct of reading this novel. In fact, I dare the reader to make it to the end without having to look up at least one band reference. While not a first pick for me, I think hard-rockers, wanna be band-members and those who love to enjoy less mainstream music will enjoy this novel and should give it a try—and certainly every girl can relate to the story, because there is an Alex Deals littering every high school landscape.

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