Monday, September 01, 2014

Review: Evidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsey Lane

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I received this book for free from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Evidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsey LaneEvidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsey Lane
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR) on September 16th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, YA
Source: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Buy on Amazon

When high school junior Tommy Smythe goes missing, everyone has a theory about what happened to him. Tommy was adopted, so maybe he ran away to find his birth parents. He was an odd kid, often deeply involved in his own thoughts about particle physics, so maybe he just got distracted and wandered off. He was last seen at a pull-out off the highway, so maybe someone drove up and snatched him. Or maybe he slipped into a parallel universe. Tommy believes that everything is possible, and that until something can be proven false, it is possibly true. So as long as Tommy’s whereabouts are undetermined, he could literally be anywhere.

Told in a series of first-person narratives from people who knew Tommy and third-person chapters about people who find the things Tommy left behind—his red motorbike, his driving goggles, pages from his notebook—Particles explores themes of loneliness, connectedness, and the role we play in creating our own realities.

What in the world…

This was really just a bunch of novellas about people either getting raped, beaten, or dying. POVs lasting for one chapter to never be visited again. It was weeeeird. Most stories/characters were not even related at all to the main storyline. Seriously! I don’t get it!

Let’s start at the beginning. A guy disappears, while learning a bit more about him we find out that he was convinced he could get to alternate dimensions, and we’re led to believe that that’s where he disappeared to. Everyone who knew him believes that as well, even the police question people about that as if they would actually be considering it. Okay, whatever. I can dig a sci-fi vibe in an otherwise contemporary novel. I loved Between the Lives recently, after all. The problem is that, this is all pointless in the grand scheme! There’s a disappearance, and while that’s the story that ties the book together – or it tries – it gets no progression or resolution AT ALL. Instead, we get thrown into mini stories lasting one chapter each of characters who are sometimes not even related to the disappearance whatsoever. For instance, one POV’s only tie-in is due to a note she finds before she murders a guy, that Tommy must have dropped. The note is insignificant in every way, and not even interesting. It’s just about how he gave his bike a name. Oookay. Another POV is about a girl who gets her sister’s baby dropped on her lap so she can take off with some dirtbag she likes for some reason (but who knows? We’ve known her for 4 pages). Later, in another POV (there’s like a trillion), we hear about this same girl being taken in by some other character. The end. It’s all so irrelevant. It really is like novellas surrounding this one disappearance, related to each other by tiny, tiny threads.

And then there’s the science blah blah. I enjoy through-provoking science chatter as much as the next, but this one was waaay confusing quantum physics mumbo jumbo. Also, surprisingly, quite dull – probably because it all had no point. It was just a way to bring up a science vs god debate which I have no patience for, frankly.

There were some things I liked. It’s easily readable, and written mostly in dialogue of people being interviewed by the detectives, but we don’t see the police’s narration, only the characters’ responses which I found kind of neat. I also found a few of the individual stories quite interesting – too bad those only lasted for one chapter – touching on topics from rape to abusive parents and alcoholism, to name a few. If a lot of these mini stories were turned into full novels I would buy these books! But mushed together into one novel is just random. Suffice it to say, the good didn’t come close to making up for the rest of it.

In short: It’s like this book just barfed a bunch of randomness and called it a day.



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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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11 Responses to “Review: Evidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsey Lane”

  1. Lola

    I like the cover for this one, it looks mysterious and original. I am sad to hear the book wasn’t that good. And that sounds so confusing that everything was more like seperate threads and not tied into the big story. I hope your next read is better!

  2. Soma Rostam

    Well, this sounds like a weird book.
    This is the first review I read of this book but it’s definitely not my kind of read
    I definitely don’t have patience for the whole science vs. God debate
    GREAT review though
    your reader,
    Soma R.

  3. Ashley

    Hmmm, I can’t decide how I feel about this one. It still sounds kind of intriguing and I may give it a try.

  4. Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    You lost me after raped. The fact that there are several stories in this book that feature that subject is the only reason I need to NOT read Evidence of Things Not Seen. I’m surprised that you even gave it two stars; I think that might have been overly generous!

  5. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I can’t say that this was my a book I was anticipating reading. But if I had, the mention of the different POVs and each POV lasting only one chapter would have annoyed me too much.
    Also, too much science can be irritating and I can see how that could lead to a dull book.
    I’m sorry this wasn’t the book for you, Giselle. Lovely review!

  6. Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    Oh my kanye. I don’t think I can handle this. *backs away* Also, I haaaate short POVs that come and go. Either make them a main character or don’t make me deal with their POV. I need to CARE. This sounds smarter than I am or something. Nope nope nope.