I had high hopes for this book. But then I read the reviews, and my hope faltered. Then, I started reading the first few pages, and my hope basically plummeted until I almost put the book down. However, I was determined; it has to get better, right? There were some positive reviews, so maybe I’ll end up liking it, too. I was wrong.
Family is about a girl named Mel who leaves her old life behind. She never knew her father; only her “uncle Jack,” her step-father who would rape her night after night, and her mother, who would turn a deaf ear. Finally, one day, Mel decides to run away, and ends up running straight into the arms of Henry. Henry takes her to his ranch, where he lives with his family – a family unlike any other Mel has ever known.
This story is supposed to be loosely based on the Manson family. I have recently been very intrigued in the Manson family murders, so of course, like many other readers, was interested in reading this YA novel. However, I was totally disappointed. I read it in only a couple hours. I thought it was very boring, and that the words just repeated over and over and OVER. Also, I hated how the only capitalized words were Henry and His/Him, whenever talking about Henry. Also, the punctuation was terrible; it was so choppy and there were periods placed in the most ridiculous places. I’m sorry, but I’m such a stickler for grammar and punctuation, and so the weird punctuation and non-capitalized letters just bugged me. Also, I think writing this novel in prose was unnecessary – completely unnecessary. I think it would’ve been a lot stronger of a novel if it weren’t written this way. Don’t get me wrong – I love poetry. I also enjoy books written in prose, such as Ellen Hopkins’ books. However, I just didn’t like it for this book. I wanted more dialogue, more interaction, more story and plot.
Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into this novel. I didn’t like it at all.
(read July 09, 2014)