Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review: Further Out Than You Thought by Michaela Carter

Title: Further Out Than You Thought

Author: Michaela Carter
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Date of Publication: August 5, 2014
Pages: 320

Thank you to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for providing this review copy. To read other blogger reviews, check out the virtual book tour that's currently running!

Two Sentence Summary: Gwen is a 25 year old poet-by-day, stripper-by-night in Los Angeles during the Rodney King riots. The novel tracks Gwen's relationship (with a loserish Leo), her friendships (with fellow strippers and former rockstar Count Valiant), and the path to finding Gwen's true self and true desires.

Things I Think: It is readily apparent in reading "Further Out Than You Thought" that the author is also a poet. Her writing is thoughtful and imagistic. Unique turns of phrase crop up at unexpected moments. And the protagonist, a young poet trying to pay her way through an MFA program, is lovingly portrayed in a way that makes it clear she is close to the author's heart.

What detracted from the plot, for me, was the pacing. The LA riots are an extremely robust topic, so I was expecting a great deal more focus in this direction. Two riveting, fast-paced scenes take place during the riots, but otherwise the action is very much off-stage. There are heavy doses of contemplation and introspection, which are beautifully written but pull the reader away from the heart of the book's plot, time and again.