XOXpert ARC Review: Walking On Trampolines: Frances Whiting

by - Sunday, February 15, 2015

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Tallulah de Longland,' she said slowly, letting all the Ls in my name loll about lazily in her mouth before passing judgement. 'That,' she announced, 'is a seriously glamorgeous name.'

From the day Annabelle Andrews sashays into her classroom, Tallulah 'Lulu' de Longland is bewitched by Annabelle, by her family, and their sprawling, crumbling house tumbling down to the river.

Their unlikely friendship intensifies through a secret language where they share confidences about their unusual mothers, first loves, and growing up in the small, coastal town of Juniper Bay. Their lives become as entwined as Annabelle's initials engraved beneath the de Longland kitchen table.

But the euphoria of youth rarely lasts, and the implosion that destroys their friendship leaves lasting scars and a legacy of self-doubt that haunts Lulu into adulthood.

Years later, Lulu is presented with a choice: remain the perpetual good girl who misses out, or finally step out from the shadows and do something extraordinary. And possibly unforgiveable.

It's not how far you fall, but how high you bounce.
Walking on Trampolines is one of those books I wanted to sink into and fall in love with. Unfortunately, this was not the case. There were parts I loved and parts that went seriously unloved. As my first read from this author, this makes me kinda sad.

From the moment I read the synopsis I was intrigued. Then came the prologue which amped that intrigued by a 100%. I love stories that open outside of the boundaries, and Ms. Whiting definitely started our triangle out with a bang. 

Walking on Trampolines was broken down into three parts. The first part is where my love came in. I had a lot of fun with Anna and Tulu. Their journey held the promise of friendship, love, family, and twists. I was truly looking forward to reading about an emotionally close friendship torn apart by the ultimate betrayal, and then put back together by time, maturity, and forgiveness. 

Enter part two and three; this is where the unloved parts came in. What held my interest in part one was no longer available. Two of the main characters become almost nonexistent, while we gained a different slew of new main characters. It seemed what started as a love triangle just faded away to black with no real closure or definition. As other reviewers stated, it felt as though I was reading two separate stories about different sets of characters. Sadly, with the change in writing format and plot, Walking on Trampolines was not as engaging or as engrossing as I had first found it. Not to mention, the switch between the past and present timelines sometimes lacked proper transition and it took me straight out of the story. 

In addition, I did not find that Tulu's character held the ability to hold the last 2/3rds of the book on her own. Without Anna around, she just fell flat for me. In my opinion, Anna enhanced their friendship with her self-centeredness, allowing Tulu to shine. In these parts, the author seemed to have lost her focus and direction. I missed the vividly detailed writing that gave me such great visuals into uniquely written family and friends. Ms.Whiting left me NEEDING more depth, development, and connection. She left me NEEDING back those two unconventional girls I meet in chapter one. 

To sum it up: although, there were some great moments that showed us the meaning of trust, forgiveness, growing up, and healing I do not honestly think I could recommend this book to others. 

To put it in Anna's words, this story was just “tediocre” for me.

“I have received a complimentary copy of Walking on Trampolines as a member of the XOXperts, XOXO After Dark’s official street team, in exchange for an honest review.”
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Frances Whiting is Queensland's favourite and best-known female columnist. For over a decade, her weekly column in the Sunday Mail has engaged her readers in the highs, lows and unique absurdities of life. She is also Associate Editor of the Sunday Mail and Senior Feature writer for Q Weekend in theCourier-Mail. Married with two children, when she gets the time Frances plays the guitar (badly) and surfs (also badly). She has published two collections of her columns, Oh To Be A Marching Girl, and That's A Home Run, Tiger! Walking on Trampolines is Frances's first novel.

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