BOOK REVIEW: Testimony – by Anita Shreve

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Title: Testimony
Author: Anita Shreve
Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Fiction
First published: October 21st 2008
Finished reading: July 23rd 2014
Pages: 352
Rating 2,5

“I could go to jail, I could stand the humiliation, I could even let my father hit me if he wanted to, but I couldn’t bear to look into your eyes and see the tape running, I just couldn’t.”

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Testimony is divided into many chapters in which perspective changes with every chapter. That way, Anita Shreve introduces us to many characters and their testimonies of the events around the scandal. The amount of characters is sometimes confusing and the writing not that great, and it is clear is that some are only used to ‘fill’ the story. The main characters are Silas and his girlfriend Noelle, Rob, J. Dot and the headmaster Mike. Or at least those characters have some dept… On a side note, the way the fourteen year old girl who changed her name into Sienna is described and acts is actually quite irritating, and I couldn’t feel sorry for her at all. Which is strange for a supposedly victim of sexual assault. Or maybe things weren’t as she told everybody that happened, and she was lying to keep out of trouble… Either way, this novel just didn’t do it for me.

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A time bomb is about to go off in a small community. A tape is found where four members of the Avery Academy are involved in a sex scandal. The tape incriminates three 18 and 19 year old teenagers (two of them respected and one of them even a local) and shows they were together with a fourteen year old girl… The headmaster tries to maintain the disaster by keeping the news within the boarding school’s walls, but the news leaks out as the girl’s parents go to the police. Soon the boys, headmaster and the whole school are under attack, and the small town bulges under the weight of hundreds of reporters trying to get their exclusive. 

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The general story and message of Testimony is interesting. It shows us that a few hours of drunken actions can turn many lifes upside down. That a person has the power to change and destroy the future of others and that actions sometimes have terrible consequences. In short you could say the idea is there and it could have been a great novel. It’s just that the execution of that idea is done poorly. Some of the characters are actually quite flat and the writing lacked creativity and was at times even annoying. This book could have been so much more… If only written in a different way. Only recommended if you like boarding school scandals, a little bit of drama and don’t mind a somewhat shaky writing style and characters.

WWW Wednesdays #6 – July 23rd

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading… WWW Wednesdays is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

throneofglassI’m currently reading Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I wasn’t going to read YA for a while, but since I’ve set a goal for myself to use the TBR cup to randomly draw the next read for at least what’s left of this month, I’m sticking with this title. I’m not that far away yet in the story, but until now it is definitely promising!

 

 

  • What did you recently finish reading?

testimonyJust as I started reading Throne Of Glass, I realized I had some books waiting to be returned next week, and I decided to read Testimony by Anita Shreve first. It is not a book I would normally read, and I thought the writing was a bit poor and lacking creativity. The overall story makes you wonder about the facts described, the lies and the consequences… I will be writing a review shortly.

 

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

5848Like I said above, I have some books waiting to be returned next week, so I will read The Middle Passage by V.S. Naipaul next. It is a non fiction travel story which gives us a portrait of Trinidad and four Caribbean societies. It’s not my typical read, but the book sounds interesting enough to not want to give it back unread.