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Jericho Walls


Okay, listen, I am officially back off the wagon, relapsing violently with a maniacal reread of the entire Harry Potter series (I'm on Prisoner of Azkaban already). I figured y'all already understand my obsession with those books and might not appreciate a review of each individual novel in the series. So, I delved into some past reviews I'd written (on other sites, Amazon, B&N, etc.) and reworded them a bit for your reading enjoyment. First, sadly is a negative review - but I just can't bring myself to just post positive reviews. I love some books (ahem, I point your attention to the post directly beneath this one) and I, uh, don't like others. And it's nothing personal to the authors, it's just my opinion.

Kristi Collier's Jericho Walls is a look at life in the South during the 1957 Civil Rights Movement centers around young Jo Clawson, the daughter of a preacher. She's new and town and doesn't seem to meet up to anyone's standards. She's not enough of a lady. She can't make friends.

She meets a young black boy and becomes friends - though he doesn't seem to want to at first. And she starts to realize what racism truly is and thus begins her coming-of-age story.

Sadly, I’d have to say that as much as I found the concept compelling, nothing specific in the book enthralled me enough to point out. Each character was nicely, and quietly, nuanced but there was nothing to keep me glued to the pages. I couldn't really relate to Jo or get involved in her life.

Actually, I didn't even finish the book. I hate doing that, but as I've said before - there are so many great books out there that I don't think I should force myself to finish something I'm not enjoying.

I made it to page 87 before I realized it was becoming too much of a chore for me to read it. There was nothing particularly entertaining about the book. I liked the idea, as I said, and it did have a sweetness to it, but it was very slow-moving and… I became very bored.

I do plan on trying it again in the future and finishing it. But for now, with my busy schedule and lots of books calling to me from my shelf, it was too hard to stay devoted to a book that I considered dull and sluggish.

I guess a big problem I had with the book as well was that it seemed to be trying real hard to be To Kill a Mockingbird, but far inferior. Nothing seemed extremely original or interesting enough to keep me turning the pages. But I think it was an admirable effort.

My personal taste tends to expect a lot from a coming-of-age story. They don't have the plot of a thriller, of an adventure, of a fantasy - so I feel the writing and the characters have to come to life vividly and force you to care so much about them that their every day life actually means something to you. This was not the case in Jericho Walls.

But maybe you'll disagree!

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