Friday, August 22, 2014

Review: Can't Look Away by Donna Cooner

Can't Look Away by Donna Cooner
Donna Cooner establishes herself as our own Jodi Picoult in this timely tale of sisters, loss, and redemption.
Torrey Grey is famous. At least, on the internet. Thousands of people watch her popular videos on fashion and beauty. But when Torrey's sister is killed in an accident -- maybe because of Torrey and her videos -- Torrey's perfect world implodes.
Now, strangers online are bashing Torrey. And at her new school, she doesn't know who to trust. Is queen bee Blair only being sweet because of Torrey's internet infamy? What about Raylene, who is decidedly unpopular, but seems accepts Torrey for who she is? And then there's Luis, with his brooding dark eyes, whose family runs the local funeral home. Torrey finds herself drawn to Luis, and his fascinating stories about El dio de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.
As the Day of the Dead draws near, Torrey will have to really look at her own feelings about death, and life, and everything in between. Can she learn to mourn her sister out of the public eye?

Publishes in US: August 26th 2014 by Point
Genre: YA Contemp
Source: Scholastic via Netgalley

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    I wanted to read this because I am drawn to stories about grief and how teens cope with it and Torrey sounds like a character that I could feel for and cheer for. 

    While I liked Torrey in general, and I am all about bloggers of all sort, even fashion and beauty, something about her just didn't click the best for me. She thought about numbers and how testifying about her sister's death could bring an even bigger surge. And I know that death doesn't just make you inevitably stop thinking about the things you love, and thinking in that manner may be her own way of dealing. 

    Her in the new town was interesting, but at first especially all of the new people ran together, the popular girl, boys talking to her and Luis, as well as Raylene. They all eventually kinda grew into their own characters but they just didn't leave as big of an impression as I liked. 

     Her family has a special brand of dysfunction. Torrey's mom is in this grief daze, and I totally can't blame her because I can't even imagine what I would do, think, or say if I lost one of my girls. Torrey's dad is a bit more in the present and tries his best to still be there for Torrey. 

   The semi mystery of everyone's motivations and how they relate with Torrey was entertaining, and well done. The ending worked well for the book, and you can't expect that everything will be a complete HEA because there is the big loss of her sister. 

Bottom Line: Good but not the most memorable and not quite what I expected.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever been in the public eye? Want to be?


  1. Sorry this wasn't as memorable as you'd hoped, girl :(

    The familial dysfunction thing is a bit of a pet peeve of mine these days, because it's just so overdone!

  2. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)August 22, 2014 at 6:16 AM

    I was pretty sure this wasn't for me, but now I'm absolutely certain. It just has too many deal breakers, things I don't enjoy under any circumstances.

  3. Yours is the second review that's pointed out frustrations with Torrey. Sorry you didn't connect!

  4. I like that the main character is a blogger, but grief isn't really my thing. This book's bittersweet HEA just isn't for me.

  5. Oh man, this sounds a little too close to home for me, so definitely avoiding it. I would hate to be in the public eye though- especially with that. It's bad enough to grieve, never mind everyone knowing your business and grieving in the public eye. :(

  6. I'm okay with books dealinf with grief and love the fact that the MC is a blogger so I really want to check this one out! Lovely review :)

  7. Hmmmm... I am curious because she's a blogger but I don't know... I guess I'll skip it for now. Sorry you didn't like it more.

  8. I'm sorry it wasn't as good as you expected... I'm not sure I'll try it.

  9. As long as there is a sort of HEA, I'm good. Glad you did enjoy it for the most part.

  10. Nicely done Brandi and I am glad to see there were some positive aspects.

  11. I'm glad that the ending worked well, and that you found Can't Look Away entertaining. Thanks for the thoughtful review Brandi. Have a great weekend :)

  12. This sounds like an okay book. I'm glad the ending worked, but I think I'm on the fence for this one. Thanks for your review!

  13. Even if Can't Look Away didn't end up being as memorable as you hoped, it sounds like a good story, Brandi :)
    I would never want to be in the public eye, myself... It would be awful to always be scrutinized :(
    Happy reading :)


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