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Blink & Caution

Blink & Caution - Tim Wynne-Jones 5/16/11 ** You know that the characters in a book are well-crafted when they wake you up in the middle of the night and won't let you go back to sleep because you want so badly to find out what's going on with them. Have you ever found yourself writing the the book into the future, that part you haven't read yet, as you try to figure out what's going to happen next?

Wynne-Jones has carefully crafted a dual perspective book - in the first half alternating chapters follow Blink and Caution (as in Caution: Contents are Hot). In the second half of the book, the chapters continue to alternate in perspective, but the stories are merged. In a few parts, the tight third person switches to an omniscient view in which the narrator actually addresses the characters. I found this to be slightly disconcerting, requiring a second or third reading of a few passages, but overall, the technique worked.

I referred in an earlier post (see below) to the way Wynne-Jones sucked me into the story so completely. The writing style in the first part of the book is frenetic and staccato. I felt my heart pounding and my blood pressure rising just from reading some of the passages. Very well done.

You may be annoyed at this point that I haven't summarized the plot - I've written enough. Go read the plot synopsis that GoodReads or Amazon provide. Do it now though, you won't want to miss this intense tale of two teen characters who've made serious mistakes who are now moving through purgatory toward...

5/16/11 ** The dates during which I read this book are a little misleading; I did read a couple chapters around 5/2, but didn't really start it again until 5/15, at which point I finished it in two chunks of reading time, on a Sunday and Monday evening!

5/11/11 ** Well, somehow, I managed to leave this book alone for a while. I was so worried about getting sucked in and addicted (hence leaving other things, like grading papers, undone, that Blink & Caution is now on hold. Oh, for summer break when I can actually read more!

5/2/11 ** I started this a few nights ago at bedtime - by the time I was into the 2nd chapter I was hyperventilating. Wynne-Jones definitely made me feel the tension that Blink felt. The pace slowed down as I moved into a chapter about Caution. I'll be curious to see how the two story lines merge.

I found this on my desk in the to-be-read pile, but can't remember who gave it to me. It's a signed, personalized ARC - how could I not know how I got it. I must be losing my mind, or I have too many books (nah, it can't be that.) ** My husband has subsequently reminded me that my mother-in-law met Wynne-Jones at the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Convention in Oct. 2010 and picked up this book for me. Upon telling the author that I taught 4th grade, he issued the warning that this book probably isn't for kids that young. I concur.