‘Chaos Theory’ by Evonne M. Dobson starts with Daniel, supposedly juvenile delinquent, attending Kami’s high school. They form an unusual bond over the mysterious death of Daniel’s sister. Kami is a science girl, so way after my own heart. She is doing a science experiment in her locker on the matter of chaos theory which I find quite fascinating.
Most of the story focusses on Daniel’s sister Julia though and the how’s and why’s of her death. Was it accidental or murder? Why did she suddenly change her behaviour and look so much? And how does it all tie in with Daniel’s past? I don’t really want to give away too much on the plot so those are the basics and I’ll be diving into my opinions with this book now.
I loved the chaos theory experiment a LOT and I wished it had been even more prominent in the story and tied in better with everything else that was going on. Maybe because I found a lot of the rest rather uninteresting. Kami has great friends and that’s something I really dig as well. Yay for friends being friends.
What I wasn’t so keen on was the love triangle, if that’s what it was with Karmi, Daniel and the other boy. See, I have lots of problems remembering any of the plot or names. I even had that from day to day when I was picking the story back up in the evening and felt like I didn’t know what had happened before even though I read it mere hours ago.
The writing was…well, it left much to be desired from my point of view. The story jumped a lot, especially in the beginning but it only got a little bit better towards the end. What really bugged me was the fact that the chapters started right after the previous one’s ended but then they made undetermined jumps in time inside each chapter. Why? Maybe I’m just picky but I really did not understand that.
It took me a long time to understand where certain characters came from and how they mixed together. Probably because of what I said above and the clunky writing. In my opinion, this book needs a whole lot of editing before publishing but that’s just me, I guess.
Kami’s grandma died of cancer and she was there for her, taking her to her appointments and such. While that gave me all kinds of feels because of my own experiences with that part of life, it also made me wonder why a 17 year old was left alone with all of that. Her parents are pretty involved and nice and actually good parents in the book but that seemed too much for me. Kami has said she wanted it that way and it was time spent with her grandma but still, that was a LOT of responsibility to take on and I can’t understand why her parents didn’t intervene.
I feel like this book could have done so much better exploring the various themes it set up. Like grief over losing a loved one, drifting into drug abuse, friendship and the whole chaos theory part. But it only strayed the shallow depths of those aspects. I would have loved this story to be better, I wanted it to be better but it wasn’t.
One thing I really did not get was the letters that were anonymously deposited in Kami’s locker. That just seemed too random to me and the fallout from it was dealt with only curtly because there were a lot more plot arcs going on and the story in itself was lacking flesh everywhere.
So yes, I wasn’t very happy with this read. Like I said, I wanted it to be better but it wasn’t and I can’t really recommend this one because there is so much better literature out there, especially in YA.
(Chaos Theory will be released in February 2015.)