Cartwheel: A Novel

Cartwheel: A Novel

by Jennifer duBois
2.9 10

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Cartwheel 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
BasingstoneBook More than 1 year ago
I have concluded that my book selection swayed by the PR was totally wrong. This is not the type of novel that I enjoy or even find interesting. Having read other reviews now I would still have made the same mistake. Jennifer DuBois must be very pleased with the feedback from readers but unfortunately I am not one of them. This book mysteriously forced me through to its end, whilst just giving me crumbs of hope that it may just turn the corner, and provide some excitement and entertainment. Cartwheel was an odd name for this book and until this was explained, you could be forgiven for linking to the speed of an old wooden cart. The writing style may suit a lot of people who scan and don't actually read all the words, as it is crowded with a great excess of text that perhaps adds only a little to characters and atmosphere, but nothing for the overall story - it could have forty percent shorter and would have moved along more quickly. Other reviewers have suggested Cartwheel is based on, or inspired by the Amanda Knox story, to me that sounds about right, as here we are several years on and we still don't know for sure who killed the victim. The characters painted by the author were all very troubled, in particular Sebastian who was a great irritation whilst reading, his language forcing you to stop and ponder what was actually said. This character could have been easily used to spice up the plot creating some exciting diversions for the reader. If like me you like a fast paced exciting thriller my recommendation is give this a pass.
nfmgirl More than 1 year ago
Lily is a student in Argentina for a semester. She is enamored with the culture, but feels unwelcome and uncomfortable in her host home, and her roommate Katy is a bit of a drag. She becomes friendly with the odd, isolated young neighbor next door. Sebastian, a wealthy diplomat's son, lost his parents when he was a teenager and now lives the life of a hermit, rarely leaving his neglected, dark and depressing mansion of sorts. Several weeks later, Katy is found brutally murdered, and Lily is the prime suspect arrested in her murder. The author clarifies that, while inspired by Amanda Knox, this story is entirely fictional. This book alternates viewpoints, so one minute Lily seems to be a self-absorbed and thoughtless brat, and the next when you see it through her own eyes you think maybe she is those things, but also just a little misunderstood. Sebastian is a very odd character that I just couldn't understand. Whether I was seeing him through his own eyes or those of someone else, I was totally confused over what is motivation was for his bizarre behavior. Katy is a rather studious and serious girl. She's thoughtful and self-aware. She's something of the antithesis of Lily. Her death is shocking to everyone. While Lily might go to nightclubs and worked at a local restaurant, Katy was quiet and seemed to always have her nose in a book. She is the last person you would expect to find murdered. This book unfurls like a Dateline murder mystery, piece by piece, first one view then another. You lean this way with one person’s view, and then another person’s view of the exact same event has you feeling totally different about it all. There really is a Gone Girl aspect to this book. My final word: This was my first Jennifer duBois novel, and I would definitely read her again. Everything in this story is interwoven. One thing mentioned at one point will be addressed again later from a different perspective, and you think “Oh” in wonder as you realize your initial assessment is all wrong. It had great suspense. With only 70 pages left in the story, I still wasn’t sure “whodunit”. It definitely has a Gone Girl feel to it. However, unlike in Gone Girl, where the characters were so unlikable I just wanted to finish it to get away from them, with this novel, I wanted to reach the end to find out what happened! Peculiar, uncustomary and provocative, I've gotta recommend this one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Started out good but had many slow stretchs. Ending was a complete disappointment. If you want a more interesting take on an Amanda Knox style story Abroad by Katie Crouch is a much more interesting novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed by this book. I kept waiting for it to get original in any substantial way but it never did. With the exception of very few minor details, this was essentially a re telling of Amanda Knox's story. Highly unoriginal on the part of the author.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too many questions are left unanswered which made this less than satisfying to read.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings  At this point in time, 99% of the world has heard about the Amanda Knox case and trial - the student studying abroad who finds her roommate has been murdered.  Cartwheel is a fictional tale based on some of the facts from this case and hearing a fictional tale about this major news story was very interesting. Lilly is studying abroad in Buenos Aires and just 5 weeks in, her roommate is brutally murdered and from the beginning the focus is on her.  Told through the eyes of her family, the prosecution and her before the incident, this book takes you through the befores and afters of the crime.  I absolutely adored hearing the build up of Lilly and Katy's relationship, but I didn't quite love the parts from Eduardo the prosecutor.  His abnormally large words and language felt out of character and I felt like his personal life was awkwardly used to affect his views of the case.  The other characters and parts greatly outdid his.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such creative suspense