By Janna JenningsBlurb: It began with a locket. Slipped to Emma as her mother is arrested by the Japanese police, the keepsake from her dead father contains much more than memories. In the final days of World War II, Emma is armed with stolen information vital to the liberation of Manila.
Caught up in a confidant’s web of deception and lies, she finds herself suddenly a spy. The enemy hunts her as she makes her way to the American soldiers still hiding in the hills. Faced with the threat of capture and torture Emma wonders if she’ll ever see her mother again.
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Series: The Lost Locket of Lahari
My Rating: 2 stars
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
So, I'll admit that the Confidant wasn't what I was expecting. First, I had no idea that this was quite so short. It was a bit of a surprise. Also, it had some of the problems that are more prevalent in shorter books. So that was also not all that fun.
Problem #1: The whirl-wind plot. You can only fit so much into 64 pages. The amount of plot twists and action-y scenes that were in here could have properly filled a 200 page book, but in here they seemed to be crammed together. Perhaps I could have been a little more forgiving if more time had passed between the events, but they happened not only one page after another but one minute after another. There were arrests, there were shootings, there was a lot of sneaking around and hiding, and there were rescues. It was like bookish sensory overload.
Problem #2: The characters. It took me a while to figure out exactly what was going on with Emma and her mom in the first place, which is definitely a problem. I really never got a very firm idea of their backstory. There were a lot of characters thrown into this book, many of whom could have been developed so much better than they were. George, for example. The main character, Emma. I never really identified with her or got to know her.
Problem #3: The ending. It just kind of cut off! It didn't help that it was rushed--as soon as everything was turning out all right, we got about a paragraph of what happened next and an assurance that Emma's dad would be proud of his family. The end. It didn't feel like a smooth finish at all.
Problem #4: this time period. My main purpose for picking up this book was that I wanted to learn more about this period of time; we only briefly touched on it in my US History class, and I forgot all the details. But the events that are happening in this book during the time are never explained in great detail, and it caused some confusion for me! This isn't one of those time periods that everyone knows in great detail; I don't think I'm the only one who will be unsatisfied with the background this book gives.
The Confidant seems like it would be better suited as a bit longer of a story; all of the problems I listed could be fixed if more information was added to the story. This book had promise, but it let me down.