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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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Review: The Not Wholes by Giovanna Pezzulo

The Not Wholes
Author: Giovanna Pezzulo
Publication Date: June 9, 2013
Publisher: Self Published

2 CUT BALLS
That's how much I paid to become, one day, a famous music star. I'm Leonardo Ponti, I study and live in a conservatory in Italy, and I'm a castrated teen.
In two years I will finish school, but who knows if I will really sing in a majestic opera house, or prostitute in the dirty streets of the harbor?

1 BEST FRIEND
Gianni and I spent most of the time together, sing difficult songs, and fight back bullies like Cesare who thinks that "the not wholes"—castrated students—are just trash.
Then why my friend stops to talk with me?

0 GIRLFRIENDS
Women don't like castrated men, they can't get married, don't have sex, their body is too weak, and so on, but Martina, a gorgeous actress, is happy with me.
The rector of the school, not so much. He forbids me to see her.

INFINITE FANS
If the king picks me for his new opera, everybody will know my name.
But my voice … What's happening to my acute voice?

The Not Wholes is a young adult historical fiction story about teen and music, school, friendship.
Disclaimer: Updated review copy was provided by the author for an honest review

     Okay, let me get this out of the way: Contrary to all the positive reviews and call me an oddball, but I did not like this book. And this review was a rewrite of the original one. I felt EXTREMELY bad to give the author a negative review (not that this is positive) and mention that it was littered with grammar and spelling errors. There was something REMOTELY wrong with me doing that, and it was nagging me for the rest of Winter Break. No one tell my mother I did this or she'll give me a VERY long lecture about how English is a hard language to master, right next to Chinese.
     Why did I get stuck with having to learn the 2 most difficult languages in the world? -_- At least I got away from learning how to read and write Chinese.
     Then again, I didn't exactly realize that the author may have just came to the US. I don't read author bios usually; only the synopsis and then I make a decision on whether or not I want to read or buy the book. And it would be very rude – in my opinion – to ask an author questions like that.
     There is certain a line to be drawn in professionalism. When in doubt, don't do it. Simply stalk other reviews and hope that your questions are confirmed there.
     But let me get this straight as well: Despite the fact that I rewrote the original one, it didn't change much. I only took out counting spelling and grammar, and I don't do that unless it's an ARC. The review is still less than stellar, but a 1.5 is probably better than a 1?
     Goodreads and Amazon, I continue to stress you do us reviewers all a favor and add half stars. I already feel bad, do I need to feel guilty for rounding down? (I don't.)
     What originally got my attention was the very fact that it's mainly about MUSIC. And if anyone knows me that well, I've been around music for well, practically my whole life. The majority? Singing. Pianissimo.
     But let's also get this straight: the older a person starts music, the more difficult it is. This is why most people start piano at an early age, and why violinists usually start when they're 10. I'm not saying it's impossible – it's definitely possible to start when you're older – I'm just saying it's more difficult. Key signatures, naturals, accidentals, etc. Learning music is no walk in the park, and certainly no picnic.
     In other words, I can get away from researching. But I do have to applaud Giovanna for accurate information.
     I also have to applaud the author for making it quite realistic. By realistic, I mean quite uncomfortable. Despite the fact that I'm a female, the thought of castration is REALLY creepy. Bleh. *shudders*
     The hint of romance feels forced. It just simply didn't seem realistic. Guy meets girl, instant mooning over her after a hug in appreciation of his compliment.
     This is coming from a girl who has NEVER went on a date in her life. I think that says a lot.
     There doesn't seem to be a plot. It's like The Catcher in the Rye, just shorter, and Leonardo Ponti is by far less annoying than Holden Caulfield. Would you rather spend a day with Leonardo Ponti from The Not Wholes or Holden Caulfrield from The Catcher in the Rye? I choose the former rather than the latter.
     While I'm a little surprised – as in, "Oh, okay." *shrug* – with the end, I'm not impressed with Giovanna Pezzulo's debut novel.
Waking up in the morning is terrible.
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 Owls


 

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Sophia

Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.