16 June 2011

Review: Vibes - Amy Kathleen Ryan

young adult, stand-alone
published 2008
bought my copy

Kristi Carmichael isn't happy with her life. She misses her dad who left the family, has trouble with her mom, isn't happy with her body and people at school think that she's a weirdo. Add to that that Kristi can hear what everyone thinks and you got one messed up teen.
In the last years Kristi tried to convince everyone that she doesn't care about their opinion, but when she has to work closely with her crush and her dad comes back into her life, staying true to the image she created is not so easy.
Will Kristi learn to trust her own feelings and find a way to be happier?

When I first read about "Vibes", I was thrilled with the concept that Kristi can hear other people's thoughts and I think that the author created a great novel based on this idea. "Vibes" is a wonderful story about a messed up heroine who's sometimes mean, smart, sarcastic and vulnerable. I enjoyed that nothing overly dramatic happened to make Kristi the way she was, normal life is often more than enough to do it.

The way Amy Kathleen Ryan portrayed Kristi's unusual ability was very interesting and I loved the message that even if you can hear people's thoughts you still don't really know what they think and feel. Kristi misinterpreted a lot of people's thoughts and that was fascinating to see. Just because you know something doesn't mean that you understand what it means to the other person. Kristi learned this and it's something that fits to all conversations between people. We interpret what others say (or don't say) and often get it totally wrong. So next time I'm inclined to think "Hmm, that's what she/he wants to say with it" I may ask the person first before making assumptions.

Kristi is not your usual beautiful heroine, she's a bit overweight, has huge breasts (which she doesn't  like) and wears strange clothes (all made by herself from things she found). Kristi is edgy and strong, but she's also someone who's trapped in her own thoughts and who has trouble to let people get close to her.

The book is mainly about Kristi and how she handles her life. However it's also about the relationship between Kristi and Gusty, the boy she has had a crush on for years. I liked that they both messed up their relationship but in the end cleared their issues by talking about them.

One of my highlights of the book was the relationship between Kristi and her mom. They had a lot of issues at the beginning but managed to find their way back to a normal, loving relationship towards the end of the book. Their issues developed from normal things that happen in life (again nothing overly dramatic) and that's something I always enjoy in books.

The book was not only thought-provoking but also very entertaining. I'm excited to read more by Amy Kathleen Ryan because I like the way she writes and creates her characters.

Love it, the colours and the motive are perfect.

final appraisal
"Vibes" is an edgy and very entertaining young adult book with a cast of unusual characters. Not everything is pretty and nice in this book and that's exactly what I enjoyed about it. The heroine is flawed, sometimes mean and also vulnerable. 
I would recommend this books to all readers who like edgy young adult stories.


  1. Seems like a cool idea. I like the fact that her relationship with her mother was explored. It seems like a lot of the time authors try to avoid bothering with parents, because things can get too complicated.

  2. This looks like a fabulous read. I really like how nothing really dramatic happens and that Kristi isn't beautiful. How the mind reading comes into play is interesting too.

    Great review! I'll be picking this book up soon :)

    ~Trish just a YA Girl

  3. Glad you liked the book so much, but it is just not my thing.

  4. Sounds good. I may not rush out to get it, but still, sounds good :=)

  5. I have never seen this book but in your blog. I'd love to read this kind of book

  6. This book looks really good. I love main characters that aren't perfect physically, because let's be honest, most people aren't size 0 or 2. I just added this to my TBR list.
    Thanks for the awesome review!
    Have a great weekend :)

    Caroline @ Bon Bons and Reveries




Email *

Message *