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The Local News

July 13, 2009

The Local News: A NovelThrust into the local spotlight when her older, more popular and athletic brother Danny ends up missing, Lydia finds herself navigating a new strange world. Students at her high school who wouldn’t have given Lydia a second glance are now approaching her with tear-filled eyes. She is subjected to Chuck, a local psychiatrist, to talk about her “feelings” for her brother. Lydia struggles in vain to connect with her grief stricken parents, her father now staring at the TV news endlessly and her mother obsessively making notes about her missing son on index cards. Added to the mix her naive budding feelings for Denis, the detective her parents have hired to look for clues.

Having tolerated Danny’s often cruel behavior, Lydia is not exactly all that upset that her brother is gone. But where exactly does this situation leave her? Not the grief stricken relative everyone expects, but more like someone observing her new life from afar.

The Local News by Miriam Gershow has some really good attributes. The author is dead on in her description of social hierarchy in high school. She also doesn’t sugar-coat the relationship between the protagonist Lydia and her brother. There’s was a relationship of sibling rivalry both at home and at school. 

While it is pretty obvious from the beginning of the book that Gershow is a talented writer, I felt that the story lacked an emotional connection between writer and reader. I struggled through most of the book, having a hard time sympathizing with any of the characters. I think I’m probably in the minority, since The Local News got glowing reviews from Books on the Brain and Everyday I Write the Book. For me though, I was left with mixed feelings about the book. Sure the writing was good, but in the end I felt it was a forgettable story.

I read this book as part of TLC book tours.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2009 8:21 pm

    Sorry this one didn’t work for you.

  2. July 13, 2009 8:43 pm

    I’ve heard good things about this one. I appreciate your honest review.

  3. July 13, 2009 9:12 pm

    I’m glad to hear that I was not the only way that felt like something was missing with this book. Gershow does a great job of channeling teenagedom. I did think the book went on a little too long–but that was probably because I didn’t really have as much of a connection to the book as so many people have. My review is at:

  4. July 13, 2009 10:13 pm

    I’m not sure that I would run right out and get this one but I’m still intrigued by the story! I’m sorry that it wasn’t a good read for you!!

  5. July 14, 2009 9:22 am

    Thanks for the honest review. I’ll likely pass this one up.

  6. July 14, 2009 9:47 am

    Hi Stephanie! It’s interesting how a book can be so different depending on the reader. I’m sorry it didn’t work well for you, but thank you so much for taking the time to read and review it!

  7. July 16, 2009 12:56 pm

    I am in agreement with you. I thought it was fine but unremarkable, and like you didn’t connect to the characters. It’s been interesting to see that most people like this one.

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