Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Portrait for Toni

A Portrait for Toni is the first full length novel I've read by Annette Lyon, although she's published several more works.

I'm sure I'm in the minority here when I say that I struggled to get emotionally attached to the characters. The reveal of Carter's deeper than friendship feelings came too soon for me and so he spent the book pining and frustrated, but I sympathized with his plight. Who hasn't been through the torture of loving someone who doesn't love you 'that way' back? (If you haven't then count yourself fortunate.)

Toni has her own issues and I have nothing negative to say regarding the eating disorder content because I thought it was handled truthfully and well done, but I spent the book wanting to smack her upside the head so she'd clue in to what was really going on with her body and with Carter.

The writing and grammar are solid. No point of view issues or anything technical to criticize. It's strong writing. It just didn't captivate me and bring me into the story emotionally.

I'm certainly not writing off Ms. Lyon as an author I'd read because I've read some of her work in other publications and enjoyed it. That being said,

Does anyone have another book by Ms. Lyon they'd recommend?

Toni has no idea what she’d do without her best friend, Carter. Who else would she be able to vent to about her parents, her job at the dance studio, or her latest relationship woes? When Toni’s father lands in the hospital, Carter, as always, is there for her.

That is, until he starts questioning Toni, saying he thinks she has an eating disorder. Then she starts dating Clint, the hot new guy at the studio, and somehow that puts a deeper wedge between her and Carter. When she’s hospitalized after an on-stage collapse, and Carter stupidly starts in with advice about food and weight, she sends him away—then instantly regrets it.

One night after a performance, Toni tries to mend the hurt between them. Instead of finding Carter, she stumbles onto proof that he has feelings for her that go way beyond those of a friend. Toni is left with the very real prospect of losing Carter forever, unless somehow she can return his feelings—but that’s impossible.

Isn’t it?

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