3.12.2009

Review: Undercover, by Beth Kephart



Elisa is a poet, and uses her talent to ghost-write little messages for guys to give their girlfriends. And its not so bad at first, because poetry is fun and the notes are like practice. But when Theo requests notes for Lila, the beautiful everything-Elisa-is-not, it gets harder. And Theo isn't much of a help-meeting Elisa by the ice-skating pond and talking to her like the friend she's never had.
On top of all, Elisa's Dad isn't home to help her through life. He's been in San Francisco for too long. As Elisa's mother falls apart and Elisa herself falls for Theo, her writing suffers. Or maybe its her heart that is suffering.

I selected Undercover off of the Readergirlz blog, where it was reccommended, and because Beth Kephart herself is just a dear, amazing woman (by the way, check out her blog if you get a chance. She regularly updates, full of wisdom and in that smooth, kind voice that makes you smile). I read a review/book discussion yesterday that loved Kephart's writing, but didn't enjoy the story so much. I, however, greatly enjoyed the story.

I found Elisa to be very relatable, and the whole idea of ghost-writing loves notes made me chuckle. And then there is the poetry, so purely Kephart-esque with its dancing imagery and flowy writing that its impossible to criticize even a bit. Elisa is very down-to-earth and her depression isn't annoying. Kephart doesn't do much pity-partying, but rather tells it as it is. 

The story arcs well, though here is where we find criticism from others. There isn't much excitement until the ending. This didn't really bother me because I was completely caught up in the writing and poetry, and trying to unravel what it is about Kephart's writing that's so... pure. But it might bother others who are just looking for a story. In any case, it reads very fast, so if you're bored you won't have to sit through 500 pages of boredom. :)

Rating: 4.5 Stars
Clean: Clean
Length: 278 pages (reads more like 200 in my opinion)

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