Thursday, 27 June 2013

Review: Dear Dylan...

Author: Siobhan Curham
Edition: Electric Monkey (Signed) Paperback
Released: 2nd April 2012
Series: No, standalone
Pages: 302 approx.
 
A first crush. An unexpected friendship. A dream come true...

Dear Dylan!

Thanks so much for your email and I'm sorry about my last one when I said I love you. I hope you don't think I'm a weirdo mentalist?!!! It's just that I was watching Oprah yesterday and she said we should all say we love each other a whole lot more. Not to everyone of course. There's no way I'd tell my scummy step-dad that I love him because that would be lying. But the thing is, sometimes when I watch you on TV, I feel as if you're talking just to me and it makes me feel less alone.

I know you probably get loads and loads of fan mail but I wanted to ask you - could we be e-mates?

Yours hopefully,
Georgie
xxx

This book has been on my wishlist for the longest time, so when I finally managed to get my hands on a copy (or in this case, win a giveaway for it!), I was over the moon! As soon as it arrived in the post, I could tell I had high expectations for it. Why, you ask? Well, I'd read way too many glowing reviews of it for me not to be excited.  Did it meet my expectations? YES! Yes, it did! If anything, it was everything I wanted and more!
 
So, yes, the whole format of this book is definitely worth mentioning. It's composed entirely of emails! Honestly, I was a little hesitant... I mean, how can an author give us a good sense of character, setting and even romance just through emails back and forth between two people?! But, Siobhan Curham managed to do just that. By the end of the book, I really knew Georgie. She was a strong, caring character. Always looking out for her mum and little sister. Easily one of the most admirable characters I've read about. Whenever she would reveal something about her family, my heart would go out to her a little more each time. I completely and utterly empathised with her.
 
As for the rest of the characters, I loved and hated some. I adored Nan and Jamie. Jamie was so sweet and I loved that he was there for Georgie, even when she thought he wasn't. He was exactly what she needed! As for the hated characters, those would be Jessica and Georgie's step-dad. Jessica - meant to be Georgie's best friend - was jealous and nasty while Georgie's step-dad was just plain mean/repulsive/every bad word you can think of! I even wanted to shake Angelica (Georgie's mum) at times! I didn't hate her though. I knew what she must've been going through - but that didn't stop me from wanting to reach through the pages and shake her for not seeing sense!
 
This sort-of leads me to my next point. There are quite a few delicate topics touched upon in this book. I don't want to give too much away about them, but they certainly added depth and much more emotion to the story than I was expecting. I completely appreciated the realistic way Curham wrote about them - it made you really want to hug the characters affected, namely Georgie and her little sister, Michaela as they seemed to be smack in the middle of everything. Curham's writing could get really poetic every now and again which I also really enjoyed. Here's one of my favourite quotes from the book:
 
"If you were a caterpillar then I was a moth - old and dusty and ready to fling myself into a flame. But you made me want to embrace life again. Despite all of the problems you were going through, your emails were so full of life and hope. I couldn't help but be affected by them. So thank you too, from the bottom of my heart."

Overall, I adored this book. It's a lovely, heart-warming tale which shows how two people can really affect each other. A story about true friendship, first love and always looking on the positive side of things. I really came to love both of the characters that emailed back and forth. It was lovely to see a real friendship blossom. With great, admirable characters, a sweet, adorable romance and a depth which gives real emotional meaning to the story, Dear Dylan is a book I certainly recommend.

FOUR STARS FOR THIS BOOK! :D

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

7 comments:

  1. Dear Dylan has been on my radar for a while now and I'm really eager to read it! I'm a little curious as to how the author can succeed in writing a book entirely composed of emails and it's reassuring to hear that you felt connected with Georgie by the end! I like books that deal with more serious issues and I agree that they add depth and emotion.

    Thanks for the great review, Rachel!

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  2. Aww, this seems like such a touching book! I haven't heard too much about this one, but your review is making me want to pick this book up right this second. :D The fact that this book is completely composed of email is cool, but it's made even better by the fact that the author really manages to convey a lot of depth of the characters as well. And I love how the author touches on delicate issues, yet handles it well. The writing also sounds beautiful. <3

    Lovely review, Rachel! I'm definitely going to have to find a copy of this one now. :D

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  3. This has been on my wish list for ages, so I'm glad it didn't disappoint. It seems like a novel I would like. And it's great that the author is able to produce the characters emotions through emails. Great Review!

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  4. YAY FOR DEAR DYLAN!!! I loved this one too, Rachel, and can not get over how clever the author is by putting the whole thing together with emails. I was hesitant to read this at first too, but I'm glad you felt the same way as I did by the end, and loved Georgie. She is such a brave girl and I agree about her being admirable. She cared so much for her family :')

    I couldn't stand Georgia's awful step-dad either, and I also wanted to shake her mum and say "What are you doing with this guy?!" even though I get that it's more complicated than that.

    That quote you shared is an excellent one, and made me a bit teary when I read it!

    Thank you so much for sharing this fantastic review with us, Rachel. If I hadn't already read this book, your review would have persuaded me to do so. :)

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  5. I think the closest thing I've read that has a similar style to this is an MG book called "Catherine, Called Birdy". I like the idea of expressing a story through letters, and "Dear Dylan" seems like a really sweet read.

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  6. I read Dear Dylan ages ago but now I'm thinking of re-reading it! It is such a quick read but lots of topics appear in such a short space of time. The delicate topics are handled well. And I adored Nan and Jamie too! xD

    Great review, Rachel! I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)

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  7. This looks so cool! I'm reading Ketchup Clouds atm which is made up of letters and I'm loving the format. So I think I'd enjoy this as you say it's very well done! Great review ;D

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