Friday, April 10, 2015

Book Talk: The Theory of Everything - J.J. Johnson



I recently finished reading The Theory of Everything, by J.J. Johnson.  I can't help but wonder how Johnson chose the title for her work - as it is the same name of a movie about scientist Stephen Hawking.  This fact kept making me think of Hawking every time I looked at the book cover.

Anyway, this book was a YA novel about a young woman learning to heal from the death of her best friend.  Sarah, the main character, lost her best friend Jamie during a freak accident in their school gymnasium.  Even though it has only been a year since Jamie died, everyone keeps acting like they expect Sarah to be "over it."  They treat her like there is something seriously wrong with her because just didn't put it behind her right after it happened.

Throughout the novel, Sarah gets almost hit by a deer in her school gym (because the deer broke through a window), gets bit by her no-vicious rescue dog Ruby, finds said deer in a shed (where Ruby starts chewing on it), works at a tree farm, makes up with Jamie's twin brother Emmett, works at a tree farm, and becomes friends with Rosemary. 

Although not technically poorly written, I feel like this book was missing something.  It just seemed to wander though the events of Sarah's life without having much of a plot to speak of.  Sure, some of the events in the novel were interesting, but they would have been even more interesting had their been more of a structure to the book.

Also, I felt like there was no real resolution to certain things at the end.  Sarah and her boyfriend Stenn got in a huge fight the night they were supposed to have sex for the first time, and he maybe broke up with her.  Sarah spent all of about three pages wondering if Stenn had actually broken up with her, and that was all we heard about it.  For the rest of the book.  The only thing that really did get taken care of was Sarah finally telling Emmett *how* Jamie died in the gym that day.  (Nope, not giving it away!)

Overall, if I were going to give this book I grade, it would be a C-.  Well-written, but needs better direction.

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