Did Not Finish, Science Fiction


I’ve been reading so many books lately, my regular Tuesday-Thursday-Friday schedule isn’t cutting it.  So I’ve decided to add Wednesday reviews to the regular mix.  Enjoy!

Turnabout book cover
Image from haddixbooks.com

Title:  Turnabout

Author:  Margaret Peterson Haddix

Genre:  Science Fiction

Melly and Anny Beth had reached the peak of old age and were ready to die.  But when they are offered the chance to be young again by participating in the top-secret Project Turnabout, they agreed.  The experiment worked, and Melly and Anny Beth actually began growing younger every year.  But when they learned the final treatment would be deadly, they ran for their lives.  Eighty-five years later, they’re teenagers again.  They have no idea what will happen when they reach age zero, but they do know they need to find someone to take care of them when they become too young to take care of themselves.

I’ve read quite a few Margaret Peterson Haddix books, and enjoyed them.  So when I found this at a secondhand store, I bought it.

And, unfortunately, I didn’t even end up finishing it.

Melly was the main character, but she didn’t really have much of a personality.  I didn’t know anything about her, her likes or dislikes, or anything.  Anny Beth I liked more, if only because of her cantankerous side.  She had more of a personality than Melly, but it still wasn’t much.  Her witty wisecracks were about the only thing that differentiated her personality from Melly’s.

I think the characters are the main reason I didn’t want to finish the book.  They were bland and unremarkable.  I can’t even think of one of Melly’s personality traits, and I can only think of one for Anny Beth.  By the time I hit the hundred-page mark, I found all the characters thoroughly boring.

My second problem with the book was the way it jumped around.  It opens with Melly as an old person, agreeing to be part of Project Turnabout.  Then the next chapter is Melly and Anny Beth as teenagers.  Then it jumps back to elderly Melly.  And since the chapters were labeled with dates, instead of “Chapter Whatever,” I was almost always a little disoriented and trying to remember what happened last time I switched away from the other plot.

The premise was interesting – aging in reverse.  And I think, when I stopped reading, there might have been an element of danger somewhere.  But in the beginning, there wasn’t any danger at all, and the characters were completely bland.

I think this could have been good if the stakes were ramped up in the beginning and the two main characters had more interesting personalities.  But as it is, it couldn’t hold me past a hundred pages.


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