How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson

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How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson

Gibson, Tanya Egan. How to Buy a Love of Reading. Dutton, 2009. ISBN 978-0525951148 392 pp. $

Overweight, non-descript, scholastic underachiever Carley doesn’t quite fit in with her wealthy peers, and only seems to gain acceptance because her best friend Hunter is the gorgeous, charming, smart and popular guy everyone wants to date — including her. As a birthday gift, Carley’s parents, overly concerned with appearances, commission a book by an award-winning author, resulting in an unlikely friendship and resolved relationships.

The book tries a bit too hard, with so many characters it’s hard to keep them and their relationships straight, and doesn’t leave a lot of time and space for character development. The plot is intricately woven and at times the style veers off to metafiction. At it’s best, How To Buy A Love of Reading is a readalike for Gossip Girl fans, with more social commentary; at worst, it becomes convoluted and it’s very challenging to get to it’s predictable ending.

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