Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Review for I Choose to Die by Ksenia Anske

Beautiful Descriptions, But Too Many of Them 

3 Stars. I have somewhat of a love-hate relationship with this book. Ksenia Anske definitely has some talent. She can write beautifully descriptive scenes, and has created unique characters with a storyline that felt new and different. However, too heavy of descriptions weighed down the plot, making this book tough to get through.

Ailen Bright is a rather damaged character. Her mother is gone, her father is abusive, and she doesn’t want to live anymore. I thought Anske handled Ailen’s depression and her feelings about committing suicide well. I understood her thought process and why Ailen makes most of the choices she does. However, she’s a little quirky when it comes to what things she thinks internally and what she decides to say aloud. She makes a number of comments aloud that I thought would have been more likely for her to have just internalized. Also, I didn’t like how she jumped back and forth between trusting Hunter and not trusting him. She seemed a little too wishy washy about that. I do commend her, however, for taking on the serious themes that are in this book and exploring them honestly.


There is some beautiful imagery in this book; I particularly love how the souls were described as sounds. Anske displays some true talent with her writing. However, while the imagery was well written, there was way too much of it. I feel like large chunks of detail could have been cut without affecting the storyline. At one point they were driving through town and there was so much detail it felt like I was being given directions, it was just unnecessary. The excessive imagery makes parts of the book feel drawn out, and overall the pacing feels off. There’s lots of action, but every action is drawn out with heavy imagery taking away from it.


If you’re the type of person who loves lyrical prose and enjoys detailed scenes, I would highly recommend this book. For me, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for Anske, but, this particular book didn’t suck me in the way I wanted it to.