6 December 2010

Book Review: No Ordinary Girl by A. M. Goldsher

Abbey Beynam has super powers. No really, she does. She is super strong, she can fly, she can read people's minds and many more things that Abbey hasn't even discovered about herself yet that choose to present themselves at the weirdest of times. Abbey chooses to hide her "weird stuff" (her name for her super-powers) from everyone except her direct family, but when her FBI employed boyfriend Murphy admits he knows about Abbey's weird stuff and they want her to come and work for them, she suddenly becomes very unsure. She doesn't want her powers to be widely known about, and she just wants a normal life...except for the occasional night time flight which she really rather enjoys.

I am quite a fan of the Little Black Dress range of books, they are always quirky and fun to read, and when I pick one up, I generally know what I am going to get. With this one, the cover really enticed me in and I thought it was thoroughly gorgeous... the bright blue with the girl on the front really works, and I think it's a great cover. I was really surprised to find out that A. M. Goldsher is actually a male author, Alan Goldsher, and this is probably why they've chosen to abbreviate his name, so readers wouldn't be put off by a male author writing for LBD. In my opinion, a male or female writer certainly wouldn't deter from picking up a book, and I wonder why LBD weren't keen to put Alan's full name on the front rather than hide behind initials!

If I'm honest, superhero books really aren't my thing at all. I have never been a fan of comic book heroes such as Superman, Spiderman or Batman, or any of those, so you might ask why I chose to pick this one up out of all the books that are currently sitting on my "to read" shelf. Well, I really wanted to see if this book could embrace the chick-lit genre whilst doing something completely different to any other book I have ever read within this genre of books. The entire story is told in the third person, so while we aren't necessarily in the head of Abbey Beynam, she is the character we follow for the entire duration. I have to say the constant repetition of "Abbey Beynam is..." throughout the book did start to grate on my nerves for a bit towards the end, but it didn't bother me enough to stop me reading, I just tried not to focus on those bits so much. It's not the usual sort of third person narrative, but it's something different!

I wondered how much of a main part the super-powers would play, and I was pleased to see that although they of course were the main story, there were plenty of other sub-plots going on as well to keep the story somewhat realistic and not too "sci-fi"! Abbey's powers are explained all the way throughout the book, they pop up from the start, and I like the way Abbey doesn't actually like having them, and they seem an inconvenience to her.  She doesn't use them too much, only for certain reasons which again grounds the book somewhat, and makes it all the more impressive when she actually does put them to use. As the book goes on, her powers become more and more important for the plot, and it does become a bit like a rewritten version of Smallville or something similar yet it still made for great reading! Abbey has to decide whether she wants to use her powers for heroic purposes or not, and this is where we meet some more characters too.

Abbey's ex boyfriend Murphy works for the FBI (America's Federal Bureau of Investigation) and wants to recruit Abbey to work for them, and allow them to do tests on her to find out more about her powers. This opens the book up to a whole new level of story, and I think it really took off then because I was fascinated to find out how this would pan out. As the associations with the FBI progress, so does the story and it really becomes quite a light-thriller, with some exciting scenes being written with Abbey doing pretty clever things, and a few good twists and turns along the way too. I found I really didn't want to put it down because I was desperate to see what was going to happen next, and I actually stayed up until gone 1am to finish it, I really could not stop myself from reading on!

Rating: 5/5

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