Kyla is exactly the kind of girl Alex could never talk to in real life. She's a gorgeous, outspoken city girl who parties to forget about her absent father and depressed mother. He's a shy ballet dancer from the suburbs who's never been kissed. Luckily, when they meet for the first time it's not if real lift - it's in a chat room, where they can share how alone and misunderstood they feel far away from the conformity-obsessed scenes at their high schools and at home. Kyla and Alex quickly forge a friendship that's far from virtual...maybe they're even falling in love.
But what happens when you come face-to-face with the soul mate you've never met? Will that person be the same? Will you?
(Summary from jacket flap)
I think the coolest thing about this book is that it came out in Sweden eight years ago and was such a hit there that it's now translated to English. I don't know how often this goes on - translating a foreign book into English. I've never heard about it being done before. I guess because the American market is so hard to get into? Maybe? But I think it was an excellent decision to make the jump with this book.
The thing that worked the most for me was how pronounced and different Kyla and Alex's lifestyles were. They each were very unique which made it memorable and special when they finally met and were able to see the world through each other's eyes. I liked reading how two opposite personalities and lifestyles came together.
The other thing I liked was how the writing seemed like it came from a different place. Like, how real can an author's voice be if it's been filtered through a translator? I found myself wondering what the original was like and how the Swedish book might have been perceived differently than the English version. I felt like I was missing out on some things but it also made me feel connected to something outside of America's exclusivity.
There were a few things that rubbed me the wrong way though. Like how fast the book moved. There weren't enough details and descriptions for my taste. I wish we could've seen Alex and Kyla's relationship evolve more slowly. Milk it for all it's worth, you know?
I also think that Kyla's character was a little awkward at some points. Like the author couldn't figure out how she wanted to portray her. My perceptions of different characters and scenes were messed with a little bit because it seemed like midway through a description the author would switch it up and decide to take it in another direction. That was kind of frustrating and confusing.
Also, when I posted about this book for a Waiting on Wednesday post a while back, I got some comments from people in Sweden who said that the English version of the book had been re-edited and that some of the dirtier parts had been taken out. Knowing that, while I was reading I kept thinking of how much deeper and edgier the book could've been if everything deemed "dirty" by the editors had been kept in. It just makes me mad knowing that I'll never be able to read the alternate version of the book. I feel sort gypped.
But other than that, I think this book came together nicely. It was a fun experience to read something that wasn't by an American author.
*If you do decide to read this book, you should try and watch the movie afterwards. It's called Sandor Slash Ida and came out a little bit ago. I haven't been able to find it anywhere but I'm still looking. It looks like a fun movie.