author: Martyn Bedford
genre: young adult, contemporary
publish: April 12, 2016 by Wendy Lamb Books
purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
rating: 3 / 5 stars
It started with an appearance, not a disappearance.
Gloria is tired of her ordinary life. An unadventurous teenager, she barely remembers the free-spirited child she used to be. So when a mysterious new boy strolls into school, bent on breaking all the rules, Gloria is ready to fall under his spell.
Uman is funny, confident, and smart. He does what he wants without a care for what anyone thinks. The only people for him, he says, are the mad ones, the ones who never say or do a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn.
He is everything Gloria wants to be. He can whisk her away and show her a more daring, more exciting life—one in which the only limits are the boundaries of her own boldness.
But Uman is not all he seems. And by the time she learns the truth about him, she’s a long way from home…and the whole country wants to know: Where’s Gloria?
runaway kids. then what?
I bought Twenty Questions for Gloria because of the blurb. When I read it, the first thing that came to my minds was my oh-so boring life and how much I wish I'd be more adventurous but too scared to actually make a move. And I am like, oh hey this book could be an exciting read -- this boring girl and this confident guy and a mystery.
"Okay, the truth: when I saw you this morning in the tutor room I realized right away how unhappy you are. How much your life..." He searched for the word, "...disappoints you." -p27
It started with a new guy. He found Gloria interesting the moment he laid his eyes on her (how even? I don't know!). With a little chit-chat, he was able to convince her that he's worth her time. After a couple of days or so, they ran off. Honestly, I thought that things escalated waaaay too fast and I just can't let that pass.
However, Gloria's interest and relationship with Uman was slowly developed. There were, of course, reasons why she's so curious of the boy. He has an unusual charm or confidence that just stops everyone from actually starting an argument or objection to him. It's like he can hypnotize people into agreeing to him (well at least that's how Gloria saw it before).
Don't be scared, I told myself. But you can't tell yourself not to be scared, even if you're not sure what's scaring you. -p167
Uman brought out that side of Gloria that's 'adventurous' which I'd like to believe most of us actually have. I mean most of us (if not all of us) have this desire to just be out there and not think, be spontaneous, and just do whatever comes to our minds. But because we're so worried of the consequences of our actions, we restrict ourselves. AND I think that that's something this novel would like to stress (and it's something, I realized, I don't really want to read about).
Admittedly, I like the story telling of this novel. I can imagine it as a film in my head -- how the transitions are done from the police interview to Gloria's stories of what happened between her and Uman. Also, I found Uman's character to be pretty interesting (in a mysterious way) and, at times, funny. Uman's story also left me unsatisfied. I feel that the novel was trying to create hype around this mysterious boy but in the end it was just some tragic story. that's it.
"Anyway, places aren't happy. You have to carry happiness around with you--or make a fresh batch wherever you happen to be." -p252
Uman's story is sad and I felt sorry for him. But really, I just thought that there will be something more to it. Some ultra plot twist that would make me go oHMYGOSH! WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? because seriously the writing had that vibe. And when the novel ends, I'm just like: well that's interesting. now to my next book.
OVERALL, Twenty Questions for Gloria is novel that somehow made me desire spontaneity. It's a story of two kids letting a few cards decide their adventure and just be out there without a care in the world. I hate the idea of it but I like how it somehow made me think and consider things (because I'm that kid who wants everything planned out and is too scared to try something out of the ordinary). If you like stories like this, I'd say just got for it. If not, then no. You're not really missing anything big.