Ames' life is falling apart. She's always been the rich, private school kid who has never wanted for anything. Now, her father has lost his job because of illegal activities, which means he can't find another one. As things get worse and worse for Ames and her family, they end up packing up and moving across country.
The book's premise, according to the blurb, is that Ames gets involved with the wrong man and gets herself in trouble because everyone else has abandoned her. My first issue with the book is that we don't even meet this kid until over 150 pages into the book. The beginning is all about the family's slow demise.
Some of the pacing is "jerky." It takes only fifteen pages for the family to decide to move, sell almost all of their belongings, and pack up and drive to Texas. The 120 pages before that just seemed to drag for me...as Ames figures out just how different her parents are from what she believed.
I understand Ames' mother being totally livid about what her father did and her angry reactions to him. I didn't buy that the mom would just totally abandon her kids, lash out at them, and basically not give a shit about how this was affecting their lives. A loving mother one day, and a selfish bitch the next? I couldn't believe it.
Since I didn't buy the mother's behavior, it was difficult for me to sympathize with Ames and believe that she would just immediately jump into this loser's arms. She very quickly found out his strange quirks and could see the potential danger, but it didn't matter.
Giles did build up some tension, but the ending fizzled for me too. Everything got resolved fairly easily. Big showdown in five pages.
Dark Song is a quick and easy read. The story probably flows just fine for some teens, even considering the pacing problems I had. I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it -- I did enjoy parts of the book -- but Dark Song isn't a book that will stick with me for very long.
Published by Little, Brown and Company, 2010
Copy obtained from the library
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