Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cartwheel by Jennifer duBois

Morning, all! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Jennifer duBois's Cartwheel.

For Lily, a semester abroad in Buenos Aires meant an adventure and a time for real freedom. In just five weeks, though, the twenty-one-year-old would be imprisoned, charged with killing her housemate. Katy was brutally murdered and the police believe Lily is guilty. She found the body, she called the officials, but her reactions are off and everything indicates that she and the other girl didn't really get along. It seems everyone has already made up their minds but is Lily really guilty?

Oh, this book! While I didn't dislike it, I'm not sure I can say that I completely enjoyed it. It's definitely one that needs a good chunk of time devoted to it, time that I simply didn't have while reading it. duBois is a wordy writer and at times I thought it was a poetic wordiness with every sentence built with a graceful and almost melodic style. At other times, however, I thought I'd go permanently cross eyed trying to wrap my head around the image a particular sentence was trying to convey!

I love the fact that the story is told through a variety of points of view. It forces the reader to constantly reconsider any ideas they have about Lily and the crime. The timeline shifts as well - we begin with Lily's father just after her arrest, moving to the fiscal de camara (the prosecutor), then jumping back to one month before the crime with Lily and Sebastien, and back post arrest with her father's narrative, etc.

Honestly the constant did she or didn't she and if she did, WHY?! hooked me. The impact of the case on the people directly involved was interesting as well. I would have liked to have gotten some of Katy and her family's story - Katy was a constant mystery to me. Whereas we do get some of Lily's POV, we get nothing from or about Katy that isn't skewed by another character's perceptions. And the varying perceptions people have about one another is, I believe, exactly the point of Cartwheel.

One thing everyone keeps pointing out - and yes, there's mention of it in the book as well - is that Cartwheel is loosely inspired by the Amanda Knox case. Beyond actually knowing Knox's name and the crime she was accused of, I know none of the specifics. None. Not a one. So if you followed the case, as a few of the reviewers on the tour have, then you'll catch more connections than I did for sure.

Rating: 3.5/5

To see more stops on the tour, check out the official TLC tour page here. For more on Jennifer and her work visit her official website here, You can also follow her on Twitter.

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.