Review: Tape – by Steven Camden

082502-FC50Synopsis: Record a voice and it lasts forever…

In 1993, Ryan records a diary on an old tape. He talks about his mother’s death, about his dreams, about his love for a new girl at school who doesn’t even know he exists.

In 2013, Ameliah moves in with her grandmother after her parents die. There, she finds a tape in the spare room. A tape with a boy’s voice on it – a voice she can’t quite hear, but which seems to be speaking to her.

Ryan and Ameliah are connected by more than just a tape.

This is their story.

Title: Tape
Author: Steven Camden
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 360
ISBN:  9780007511204

Rating: 3stars

When I saw the cover of this book, I thought to myself ‘I must have it, right now.’ And a few days later, I did … yay!

I got to reading pretty much straight away … OK, by straight away I actually mean a month later, but seeing as the average time difference between me getting a book and reading it is over six months, I think 30 days is extremely quick.

Although it hurts me to say this (I really do love the cover); I have to say I wasn’t awed by the book. My biggest issue with Tape was that the concept was absolutely incredible (I will avoid spoilers by not going into detail) but it was aggravatingly underworked. Once I was introduced to it, I wanted more but got not very much. I was left feeling … meh.

Because of that, the rest of the book suddenly became much more average. It’s a good read and fits the bill in terms of characterisation, pace etc. But once you’re given an awesome idea you expect it to be developed, not thrown to the side and ignored.

I have therefore given Tape 3 stars. It was good, but could have been SO much better. I’m willing to give his next novel a try as there’s definitely something special to Camden’s writing but I might put him on the 6 month wait list next time.

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