Available as a Kindle e-book for $2.99
- Why I read it: epilepsy, thrills and chills
- Disclosure: Received an e-galley from the author. Thanks!
Imagine that you are a young girl with intractable epilepsy. As a last resort you submit to an operation to sever the connection between the two sides of your brain. Though the operation successfully reduces your seizures, you are left forever with two separate minds: left and right, each unaware of the other.Hey, look at that! I actually have time to catch up on all my reviews now, because I SLAYED finals and will never have to be a freshman ever again AND now have slightly over three months to do whatever the hell I want! Which is to read astonishingly oversold and crappy books like Starcrossed and flay them alive with no regrets, because in the end, authors like Josephine Angelini still get to laugh all the way to the bank. Everyone wins! YAY!
Imagine further that while recovering in the hospital, you witness a murder. Your dominant left brain cannot recognize unfamiliar faces, and is, therefore, unable to identify the killer. Your right brain can, but is unable to speak. Gradually, painstakingly, the right learns to spell out its thoughts in scrabble letters. At long last, on a table in a hospital lab, you describe the person who committed the crime. Too bad the killer is reading that very same message.….
Right Side Talking is a thriller that will grip the reader from its opening surgery scene to its dramatic courtroom climax. Its cast of characters: a 15-year-old epileptic; a brilliant surgeon; an unlicensed, resentful doctor from abroad who must work as an orderly; a grumpy, relentless detective, and a feisty psychologist Finally, most fascinating of all, there is the human mind itself.
First, though, I'll have to get around to Right Side Talking, which will not be escaping flay-free, but was also way better than I thought it would be. Another win-win! It's like Stephenie Meyer suddenly took over writing my life story and nobody has to have any real problems ever again! Or maybe, I don't know, it's because I SLAYED finals and will never have to be a freshman ever again AND now have just over three months to do whatever the hell I want. Either way, YAY!
And now I shall take off my rose-colored glasses and get down to business, I promise.
On my In My Mailbox post a few months back, when I first blogged about having received this book, it got a lot more attention than I was expecting. Sure, the premise was awesome and was why I'd said yes to the review request in the first place. But, and heaven help me for a snob, I couldn't quite get past the fact that it was a $2.99 Kindle book - a category that, in my mind, had been inextricably linked with the Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure fiasco - and as lovely as the author was in all of her correspondence with me, I was still dreading what I had convinced myself would be a cliched, poorly copyedited, and generally awful first page.
And of course - thankfully - I shouldn't have worried. Right Side Talking is a smart and fast-paced thriller that, while not earth-shattering, is certainly equal to a great deal of traditionally published thrillers out there. Sure, it was still full of cliches - an ice queen, man-hating female boss for one, a crazy and disgruntled foreign villain for another - and is an occasional victim of a rambling, hard-to-follow narrative voice. Sections, too, also read like psychology textbooks. But last time I checked, the point of 95% of the thriller genre was to get the reader to feel, well, thrilled, and not to write a literary masterpiece.
While knowing the identity of the killer from the start diminished some of those thrills, Rozanski's obviously extensive and fascinating research on epilepsy kept me turning the pages. Ditto the very creepy hospital setting. I don't know about anyone else, but I am unreasonably terrified of hospitals considering how little time I've actually spent in them, and the idea of some orderly running around killing patients was enough to make me leave the light on late.
In the end, I still do have a lot of issues with it. It was choppy, and while the copyediting and format were flawless, it still could have used a good editor to sort out narrative issues. And the characters were simply too flat for me to care an awful lot about what happened to them. But I also have a more active inner critic than most, and am not exactly enamored with the genre, and you probably should be taking my opinions with a grain of salt, anyway. A $2.99 Kindle e-book is way cheaper than that psychology textbook, and is definitely way more fun. Three out of five stars.