Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great idea that doesn't justify the hype, disappointed, 4 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Tape (Hardcover)
I was really looking forward to this. It sounded great, like the next bestseller. I must say though I'm disappointed. So much promise, but it fell a little flat for me.

Two children. 20 years apart. Ameliah's parents are dead. Ryan's mum is dead. Ameliah discovers an old cassette player and tapes of her mother's. Ryan records cassettes. They are about to connect in an unexpected way.

Except the plot doesn't even really take off until page 101. It could be magical - like the film Frequency or the Doctor Who episode 'Blink', with different time periods connected through the communication device. But it's frustrating - it doesn't happen.

The plot is interesting enough but quite slow and it can be confusing who is who at times. When the plot device reaches the pivotal 'aha they are talking through the tape at last' moment it peaks then immediately fizzles away again.

It does reach a satisfactory climax with plot strands brought together (the twist is pretty obvious but it's sweet enough).

But the writing isn't anything extraordinary, it's fine but not anything like the hype and PR suggest. It isn't as funny as the PR declares either.

I also had trouble believing in the immediate connection between Ryan and a girl he sees in the park that in essence IS the story. They are 13. It's not Shakespeare. They are kids. It just didn't feel like an epic romance, the one that the author needs you to believe in for you to take them to heart.

It's quite good, yes. Some great ideas, some good structure in there with the two time periods but it's also slow to start (which I can see on Goodreads has actually put people off part-way through) and the interesting turns you see the book taking are not followed through and leave you (or at least me) a little deflated.
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Location: Derbyshire, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 68