aka YA Literature

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn

Book: Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn
Author: Sarah Miller
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Book Grade: A-
Audio Grade: A-

I've been waiting for this book on audio for literally months! Finally it came in. The back synopsis says, "What if you could see inside the head of the guy you love? Know his every thought? Feel his every dream and fantasy? The mystery girl who's inside the mind of Gideon Rayburn can. She tells us the intoxicating story of her beloved Gideon, an adorably clueless boy who flukes his way into New England's fanciest prep school." Sounds cute, right? Some light chick lit along the lines of E. Lockhart is what I was expecting. Well, it's not exactly deep, I guess, but it wasn't the light-hearted romp I was expecting. With the drinking, drugs, sex, and occassional cussing, it was edgier than I expected (which I happen to like). In addition to the little publisher synopsis, I think it's important to add that Gideon's new roommates, Nicholas and Cullen, are extremely hot and popular and come up with a bet that Gid can't lose his virginity to Molly McGarry before Halloween.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I enjoyed it so much, in fact, that I gave up NPR on my daily commute to listen to it, which means that I was totally enthralled. I even considered bringing the CDs inside to listen to them at home but decided against it only because I didn't want it to be over (and thus without a book to look forward to) too soon. The main drawbacks for me were that the identity of the narrator became pretty obvious after a while. Perhaps Miller could have added some more commentary to obscure this just a bit more. And a couple of times, it didn't make sense for the narrator to be who she was (ex. the everyone-almost-got-expelled-because-of-the-pot scene). But it was still very good. I liked how the narrator was a little cynical and also able to be a little cynical about herself too. I will definitely recommend this book to teens.


The Good: Campbell did a super job at narrating and creating voices for everyone, especially the characters with accents like Pilar. Really great.

The Bad: I thought Campbell sounded a bit too old for a high schooler, even if she was smart and somewhat sophisticated. Nicholas sounded perfect, but Cullen sounded a little too much like him in parts. I thought Cullen should have sounded a little more surfer/frat boy-ish and a little less snooty-sophisticated like Nicholas.

*Can I just ask what is up with the cover of this book? I'll grant you that Gid thinks about girls' breasts a couple of times, and Pilar does wear white (although I don't think she wears a Polo shirt at any point). But really, what does a woman's half-opened chest have to do with the book? Gid's not that shallow.


Holly said...

You sold me. I have requested it :)

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