The Secret Language of Girls by Frances O'Roark Dowell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Status update from Goodreads: I got to disc 4 and my copy is corrupt. I'll have to go to the library once it's open again and get their copy to finish this story. (Dec26th, 2011)
Well, nearly 1 month later and I finally finished listening to the audio presentation of The Secret Language of Girls. As it turns out, I had only 5 tracks left to listen to before the story ended. I'm glad I finished listening, but the ending didn't really leave me feeling any better about this story.
I am (obviously) NOT the target audience of this book, but my daughter is. In fact, it was she who initially requested the audiobook after a friend read the print version and the only reason I listened to it was because she had. I like to know what my kids are reading/listening to/watching, so I try to read/listen to/watch the same things they like. It helps me get to know them better by giving us something with which to open a conversation. When my daughter finished listening to the (we now know corrupted) audio on her mp3 player, I asked what she thought of it. Her response was that it was good at first, but it lost her toward the middle and she felt unsatisfied by the end. Of course, the end she heard wasn't the real end, but (in my opinion) it might as well have been.
I really have no idea what this story is about. If I had to describe the story, I guess I'd say it's about two girls whose childhood friendship undergoes the strain and stress of growing up. This was not a plot driven story, but a story surrounding a plot idea. I frequently found myself bored by the lack of action. Also, I was not wild about the changes in perspective from one girl to the next. I didn't think the voices of the girls (not the physical voice of the reader nor the literary voice of the character) were defined and unique enough to make it self-evident as to whom the story was being seen through as soon as the switch took place.
Overall, I'm not thrilled with this book and will not be listening to it again. And my daughter had no interest in listening to the end either, once we figured out the initial problem. That being said, I think female readers as young as 4th grade and up to 6th grade may understand and commiserate with the characters in this story, but it definitely didn't speak to me.
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