Jan 8, 2009: As I read Charlotte, I was immediately struck with how familiar and relatable the character was to me as a reader. I identified with her fears and concerns as she started college, though I found her boy troubles to be a bit ponderous. Her agonizing over Paul, jealousy of Jason, and quick kiss with Riley seemed a bit close to the soap opera, but, thankfully, there is a good deal more to this story than simply boys—there are literary references (got a few titles to add to my list!), political musings/references, and some cultural discourse.
Even though Charlotte has a strong voice, it slipped once or twice into a rant about diets. I whole heartedly agreed with what the character said, but at the same time, I also found that it severed my connection to her world. I’m not sure how rants are supposed to appear in the diary/blog format, but it just didn’t sound like Charlotte when I read those parts.
Overall, the writing is good both grammatically and stylistically. The author can paint some gorgeous pictures in the mind’s eye with sentences such as these:
"It was rapidly getting dark, the sunset a bloody, bruised palette of dark purples and grays."
It was a pleasure to read that and similar gems.
However, I did find the flashbacks in the beginning (where she explored the beginning of her relationship with Paul) a little stalling, but they didn’t bother me too much.
The voice/style reminded me of the Time Traveler’s Wife: it drew me in as a reader and made me feel intimately acquainted with Charlotte herself. There was a closeness to the writing—it felt warm and familiar and comfortable.
Overall, reading Charlotte was a very pleasant story. I had not intended to read all of Charlotte in one sitting (in fact, I had plans to watch Smallville instead), but I found it too enjoyable to put it away. I suppose that’s an informal way of saying that I found it worth the time.