I recently read Carmen Capuano’s new book ‘Split Decision’, this is the second of Carmen’s books that I have read; the first being ‘Ascension’. To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect from Split Decision, particularly, as a Young Adult novel, it was so different from the dystopian chaos of Ascension. Nevertheless, overall I really enjoyed it, and couldn’t put it down until I had finished it.
The plot of this story I thought I’d guessed, but as I read on, I realised that I wasn’t such a good detective as I had thought. The key part of this book is the split element. At chapter six the book splits into two halves telling two parallel stories: one on a date with Rhys, the other on a date with Nathan, and how the two pan out – it reminded me of Gwyneth Paltrow in ‘Sliding Doors’. I would love to go on and talk more about the twists and turns of the book but I find I cannot do that without spoilers!
I think one of the most important things about any book is the characters, whether you warm to them and whether they feel properly three dimensional and not just words on a page. As far as characters go in this book, I thought they were written well. The main character, Natalie, had a strong voice and personality, and I felt she developed a lot over the book whilst remaining true to character. The male characters is difficult for me to review without spoilers, as it is not until nearly the end where you get told which date is which. Cleverly Carmen kept it unclear throughout which guy was which, by playing with what you, as the reader, thought you knew about them, and how you thought each guy would act. What I would have liked to have known at the end perhaps, is why she made the decision that she did. In this book, which also reminded me of the film ‘Taken’, there were clear good characters, and bad characters, and whilst I am fully aware that eighteen year olds can be villainous, I think they could have done with having a couple of the ‘bad’ characters being a little older than teenagers. I did however like the drama, the high stakes and I think what is done best with the book is how at the end of each chapter you’re left wanting to know more.
I thought this book was super readable; it kept a really good pace, and kept the mystery and drama throughout. There were some cliche moments, but they were also sweet and I could imagine a sixteen year old doing and saying those things. It was a clever book that played with what the reader thinks they know, the important word there being thinks. It was such an interesting premise the split chapters and it was very enjoyable to read!
Have a wonderful week,