Aug 24, 2011

Series: OUT OF THE SHADOWS, by Sue Hines

Sue Hines' debut novel, Out of the Shadows, has several things going for and against it, and I included the novel in my series because of it's unique characters.

Ro, a wannabe-typical Australian teenager, has a lot to overcome: her mother was gay, her mother was killed by a drunk driver, and her guardian is her mother's partner - a woman she has hated in the past. The plot gets even more convoluted: Ro's best friend, Mark, goes gaga over a new student named Jodie, who has secretly fallen for Ro.

It was sometimes hard to keep track of the different characters - even with alternating POVs - because Hines herself has a very strong point of view that shone throw most characters' narratives. At times, I felt like too much was being thrown into this story, but I was always entertained and the book reads very quickly. By the end, reconciliations abound for Ro - some are too contrived and others short and sweet.

I would recommend Out of the Shadows to reluctant readers as well as writers who are interested in experimenting with their work. Overall, Out of the Shadows is a winner and still feels current despite being fifteen years old.


  1. Great review! The POV switch thing can be jarring... but this book sounds really good. *adds to TBR list*

  2. Sounds interesting! I'm always a bit jarred by alternating POV, but willing to give it a shot. I love the title. :)

  3. I used alternating POV in A SCARY GOOD BOOK, which is unusual in MG...I really THOUGHT about not making it jarring and I hope it wasn't. This book sounds unique, which is good.

  4. Yes, alternating POV's can be hard to perfect. I've read some that it is jarring and others where it flows naturally.

  5. Kristen - You will like it, so would Corrine.

    Kris - This particular book just had A LOT of POVs, but it was still enjoyable.

    Anita - You did multiple POVs very well, as my upcoming review will point out.

    Kelly - Sometimes the jarring can be good, if it's right for the book, but in this case it wasn't meant to be jarring.

  6. Jon--this sounds like an interesting book. I'd be interested in reading it for POV alone. :) Thanks for the introduction!

  7. Wow, it must have been seriously cutting edge fifteen years ago. Thanks for the review Jon - I'm glad you're doing this series.

    I think books can be a great way to learn about the world around us, and personally, I could use more educating on how to be in this new world. How to act, what to say (so that I don't come off as trying to OVERDO the "i'm okay with you being gay" thing, ya know?). Reading books about these relationships allows me to internalize and develop a more natural belief system.

    I probably didn't make any sense, but hey, what's new?

  8. Ali - You make perfect sense! I sometimes like reading to get more perspective on the straight male...

  9. Absolutely fantastic blog!!! Glad I found it! Love it!!!

    Lola x