Author: Steven Camden
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: 30 January, 2014
Source: HarperCollins Australia. Thank you!
Goodreads rating: 2.67 out of 5.00 (10+ ratings, pre-release)
Goodreads | The Reading Room
Record a voice and it lasts forever…
In 1993, Ryan records a diary on an old tape. He talks about his mother’s death, about his dreams, about his love for a new girl at school who doesn’t even know he exists.
In 2013, Ameliah moves in with her grandmother after her parents die. There, she finds a tape in the spare room. A tape with a boy’s voice on it – a voice she can’t quite hear, but which seems to be speaking to her.
Ryan and Ameliah are connected by more than just a tape.
This is their story.
Review by Nara
Before I start my actual review, can I just say that the ARC of Tape is one of the prettiest books I have EVER seen. I'm just going to casually include a few photos so you can all bask in its beauty hehe.
They honestly ought to just keep the ARC design for the finished copy. So much prettier :3
Okay, I'll stop fawning over the ARC and start the review. Unfortunately, it's not going to be a particularly favourable one. If I were to describe this book in one word, that word would be: BORING. Why is it so boring, you ask? Because NOTHING INTERESTING HAPPENS. Seriously. The entire book seems to be about the everyday life of two people who are really not interesting people to read about. I mean, sure, they're everyday people, so maybe some people will be able to connect with them, but geez.
Another criticism that I have is that the dialogue was, at times, confusing. There was a lack of quotation marks- instead the dialogue was written like so:
- It said your mom's name?
- That is pretty weird, I mean timing wise, right?
And so it was often a bit confusing as to who was speaking. Another thing, when the characters were thinking, the author would also utilise the dashes, so at times it was difficult to tell whether a particular character was talking or thinking.
And god, the plot was predictable. There were two main "twists" but they were so ridiculously obvious, you could see them from a mile away. Plus, one of them was kind of spoilered in the blurb. Also the twists weren't even that interesting. I get that this is a contemporary and therefore, you know, the twists aren't likely to be murders or a discovery of a secret underground tape communication society or whatever, but these twists were just so bland.
Yet another thing I really didn't appreciate was the lack of explanation about how the two characters communicated through the tape. Fairly early on, Ryan and Ameliah somehow talk to each other through a tape- when they both press record "at the same time", they're able to speak to each other. So, you know, sometimes it's just a tape and sometimes it's a communication device. First, it shouldn't matter when they press record because they're in different time periods. "At the same time" should really be ANY time because when Ameliah presses record, she should just be able to communicate with Ryan at the particular time that he was recording that section that Ameliah is recording over (if that makes any sense at all lol). So I really didn't understand why Ameliah was sometimes unable to make contact with Ryan. Ugh. And WHY? HOW? WHERE ARE MY EXPLANATIONS?!
I think this is the first book where my star rating and number rating don't match up. Because, really, I feel like number-wise, this book is a 4/10, but I did think it was an "okay" book overall. I mean, despite all these flaws, it wasn't an absolutely terrible book. It definitely wouldn't be one I'd recommend to anyone though.
It was okay
Cover: 3/5 (It's so...yellow... The ARC gets 5/5 though. IT'S SO PREETTTY)