Review – The Feud
Review – The Feud [email protected] by Hempra
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The feud is a YA coming of age story chronicling the doings of a group of high schoolers, an enjoyable romp, albeit angsty as befits a YA story. I thought the dialogue was authentically teenage, almost as if it was the work of a teenaged author. At the end I found out that this novel was indeed completed by the writer during his teenage years. That, in itself is quite an achievement. There are two plots in this story, one, that of the school play being used as a means of enlightening two Capulet – Montague style feuding fathers. Two, the story of Andy who is awakening to love, fighting through the difficulties created by her physical disadvantage. There is also the ‘story within the story’, ‘Where the Redfern blows’, serialised by Andy for the school newspaper. The subplots and themes are handled with skill. I would have liked the serial to be shown as excerpts only, rather than as full length. This might provoke more curiosity among readers. I like the way common idioms are polished up for use-‘The bagged cat was clawing for freedom’. I felt that there could be more trimming of verbiage, overall, to make most of the conflict, and enable a sharper impact on the reader. Some of the imagery was very good – ‘looking up into the endless emptiness of the sky …..falling into it,’ to describe Andy’s state of mind when she knows that Sharon has set her sights on Dan.. Most of the techniques are used effectively, ie: teenage humour – when the kids get their mother to talk through her stuffed nose, describing Mari as the Flower Child. I thought that these would be even more effective if trimmed down and used sparingly. Mari ‘s character could be delineated with more detail. She is described as pretty, perfect and a do- gooder, but we need to see her in action. There are some repetitions that need to be weeded out, such as the word ‘caressing’ used too many times. Some of the imagery needs to be polished up. I am curious as I am sure most readers would be, as to the root cause of the feud. I think the story would be better for a big reveal. There is a good kernel here to be improved upon, and can be converted into a winner. And finally, I don’t have the heart to talk about punctuation to a teenage writer.