Written By: Jo Ann Beard.
Synopsis: The fourteen-year-old narrator of In Zanesville is a late bloomer. She flies under the radar-a sidekick, a marching band dropout, a disastrous babysitter, the kind of girl whose Eureka moment is the discovery that “fudge” can’t be said with an English accent. Luckily, she has a best friend with whom she shares the everyday adventures of a 1970s American girlhood, incidents through which a world is revealed, and character is forged.
In time, their friendship is tested–by their families’ claims on them, by a clique of popular girls who stumble upon them, and by the first, startling, subversive intimations of womanhood.
My Thoughts: I really liked the main character (She doesn’t seem to have a name…), she was a riot. I liked all of the shenanigans she got into. Too bad that wasn’t enough to make me love this book. What is this child’s name? I don’t know what the reason for her not having a name is, but I don’t like it. I just felt like I couldn’t truly get to know the character without a name. It’s weird that in the dialogue, no one ever calls her by her name, how is that possible? Imagine going on in life without anyone ever calling you by your name…
In Zanesville, had the potential to be a 5 star book, but it was lacking. I kept thinking, What is the point to this story? or When is something big going to happen? Nothing big happened. Don’t get me wrong, there were a handful of good stories in this book, like the whole babysitting incident in the first 10-20 pages of the book, but there wasn’t enough to keep me interested. I had to put this book down so many times, which was terrible seeing as I was in the middle of a Read A Thon. The only reason why I finished the book was because I thought maybe I was wrong, and that maybe, just maybe there would be a big life lesson or secret waiting for me at the end.
Another big problem I had with In Zanesville was the fact that there are no real chapters, so there were a lot of moments where I felt like the story was just going on and on and ON. I felt like screaming…WHEN WILL THIS CHAPTER END!
This really sucks, because I had such high hopes for this book. I mean, it has A LOT of praise in the beginning of the book from all kinds of critics, but it wasn’t for me. I love the cover, and to me the synopsis screams: “I’M GONNA BE GREAT!”, but in the end, it fell flat. 😦 I gave In Zanesville 3 stars.