Monday, July 19, 2010

Book Review: The Truth About Delilah Blue by Tish Cohen

Title: The Truth About Delilah Blue

Author: Tish Cohen

Pages: 448

Received from: the fabulous author, Tish Cohen.


Delilah Blue Lovett has always been a bit of an outsider, ever since her father moved her from Toronto to L.A. when she was eight, claiming Delilah’s mother no longer wanted to be part of their family. Twenty now and broke, but determined to be an artist like her errant mom, Delilah attends art class for free—by modeling nude at the front of the room, a decision that lifts the veil from her once insular world. While she struggles to find her talent, her father, her only real companion, is beginning to exhibit telltale signs of early-onset Alzheimer’s. And her mother, who Delilah always assumed had selfishly abandoned them, is about to reappear with a young daughter in tow . . . and a secret that will change everything. Delilah no longer knows which parent to trust—the only one she can really rely on is the most broken person of all: herself.

In a new novel as witty, sparkling, and poignant as her acclaimed Inside Out Girl, author Tish Cohen uncovers the humor and heart within the most dysfunctional of families.

Tish Cohen has impressed me once before, with her YA debut Little Black Lies. It grabbed your attention from the very first page and offered a sympathetic, flawed heroine to kind-of-root-for-kind-of-want-to-slap-in-the-face-not-that-I-would-because-I'm-a-damn-pacifist-so-shut-up. And...I don't know. Delilah Blue failed in that aspect. I had to read on, get to like the fourtieth page to really become invested in what Delilah had to say. Once it got going, it really got going, but it's kind of like one of those DUFF chicks (oh yeah, check the Ya reference---does this get me a review copy, Kody Keplinger? DOES IT?) you see at a bar; it takes a second look.

Anywhoozles. Delilah knows two things for sure; her Canadian artist mother left, and her father wants more than anything for Delilah to become the opposite of her mother.

(on a side note: her mother is Canadian. This says a lot about her character, does it not?)

(JK, I love ya'll Mounties. Maple Syrup and all

Delilah, now Lila Mack and living in LA, expertly hides her fledgling artistic talents from her father, ripping to shreds everything she creates. And since he hates all things art, she had to figure out some alternative ways to get to art school. Like get a job. As a model. A nude one.

She figures that modelling for an art class will get her some extra cash while also soaking in the professor's lectures. She also happens to gain a kind-of-boyfriend, the knowledge that her father is developing Alzheimer's and, oh, her frikken mother.

I don't know. Like I said, Delilah Blue is definetly dissapointing in the face of Little Black Lies, but maybe that's just because the protagonist is a bit older the issues are more adult, in a way I can't relate to as easily. It's also lacking the lovable side characters of Black Lies. Tish Cohen seems to have an affinity for surrounding her protagonists with really stupid people, but there was always at least one killer side note that got me rooting for whoever. For her previous, it was Sara's father. For Delilah, it, no one. Everyone was kind of a douche. Some people will like this, the feeling that it's Delilah against the world and all that. Me? I found it, um, uncomfortable, to say the least.

The writing itself is lovely. Cohen has one of those senses for what word would sound right in what sentence that's really hard to come by. I was totally highlighting the shit out of these pages, thinking up all the band names I could create out of some of these adverb/adjective combos. Good stuff, I tell ya.

Reccomended, but no for anyone looking for something quick to eat through.

Rating: 6 out 10

Ps. Game.


Emma said...

That's too bad! I wish it was better, since the description piqued my interest. Nice review.

Anonymous said...

Synopsis made Delilah Blue sound totally my thing, but the review has made me go hmmmmm. I might have to check out Black Lies first :)

Stephanie aka The Stark Raving Bibliophile said...

I liked this book, though I agree that most of the characters were douche-nozzles. You've made me want to give Little Black Lies a try.

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