Book Reviews

Review: “Masks,” Patricia Caviglia

December 13, 2010
Review: “Masks,” Patricia CavigliaMasksby Patricia Caviglia
Series: Standalone
Published by iUniverse on July, 2010
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 128

Rebecca Jacobs is an unremarkable teenage girl-at least, that is what she wants the world to believe. But her private life is made public when her verbally abusive father embarrasses her at a school dance, and soon gossip and whispers buzz throughout the school.

One of the witnesses to Rebecca’s public humiliation is David Miller, the high school bad boy. Unsure about how to help her, he settles for becoming her friend. Rebecca and David grow closer with each passing day, eventually falling in love.

Masks had a lot of potential to be a great contemporary YA read. Unfortunately, Patricia’s writing style didn’t flow as well as I expected and things that should’ve taken pages to develop happened within the space of a sentence. I was unable to like either of the main characters and disagreed heavily with a lot of the issues and how they were dealt with.

I entered a giveaway for this book on goodreads and was drawn in by the overall plot. I was thrilled to hear I won the novel and was delighted by Patricia’s little note and a signed copy of the book! It was the first time I’ve won anything in a book competition and I couldn’t wait to get started!

A few pages in, however, and I was quickly discovering that Masks wasn’t a ‘me’ book. I’m sure (and judging by the reviews on goodreads) that there are a lot of people out there who will enjoy it.

The writing style didn’t appeal to me and I didn’t relate to any of the characters, especially the main two, David and Rebecca. I didn’t like how their relationship evolved and progressed. The wording and structure reads fast, as if you’re reading unfiltered thoughts of the character who’s narrating. I didn’t even realize that the main two had kissed until the following sentence. It just didn’t feel like it was solid enough to get my interest and hold it.

I can’t even describe how much Rebecca’s parents annoyed me. Her father was calling her a ‘slut’ and a ‘whore’ every turn of the page and Rebecca just accepted this. I wanted to feel anger, hurt and betrayal that her parental figures would treat her so. Instead, she accepted her reality and when finally taken away from her home by social services, she mourned the loss of her parents. Who cares if he doesn’t hit you? He abuses you emotionally and Rebecca didn’t seem to grasp that.

I thought she would ‘learn’ from her drama at home. I thought she would ‘learn’ that such a home life is unacceptable in this day and age… instead, the parents get thrown into anger management and counselling and are allowed their daughter back after a few weeks. The two then go under a miraculous transformation and allow her to date. It just didn’t seem ‘real’ to me.

I know a child’s love for their parents is kind of eternal, no matter what, but Rebecca didn’t even pause to consider her situation for more than a minute or enjoy her repreive from their intolerable behaviour. From the moment they were separated, she was itching to get back into the abusive environment and constantly covering for them.

I don’t have much to say for the leading man, David, as he was kind of bland. He didn’t do anything to particularly annoy me, nor did he do anything to spark my interest.

All in all I was disappointed with Masks. It got a slightly bit more exciting as the book drew to a close, but the ending just didn’t seem fathomable. I really wanted to like this book!

Recommended to: Anyone looking for a light read. It’s a very slim book!

About Patricia Caviglia

Patricia Caviglia lives in Mississauga, ON. She works for the railway by day and writes novels by night.


  • Reply Tina (Book Couture) December 13, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Hmm, I’m a little confused, because you put 5/5 then tagged it as 2 stars. Typo, maybe?

    But anyway, thanks for the honest review. The cover and title did draw me in, but after reading your review, I’m going to pass this one up. The thought of domestic abuse through her father is an interesting theme, but may be too dark for me to handle. I agree with you – it sounds like Rebecca should have come to be free of her family.

    And it seems that every book has a “leading man”, but apparently the one here was included for conformity.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review, thank you! 5 stars. ;)

    • Reply Brittany December 13, 2010 at 9:13 pm

      Oh, thank you for alerting me to this! I have a note file that serves as a template for my review formatting and I forgot to change the 5 stars to 2 stars!

      Yes, I very much agree! I don’t know how she could’ve stood it. Both her parents were so abusive emotionally and verbally and she didn’t think this was odd at all.

      Yup, it seemed so to me.

      Thank you!

  • Reply Meghan December 13, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    *shakes head* I had the same thoughts. The majority of the story was a mess. I liked some things and felt there had to be someone out there who’d like it but right now I’m not so sure.

    • Reply Brittany December 13, 2010 at 3:02 pm

      Oh, I’m so glad I’m not alone on this. I saw some reviews about it and wondered why it was my feelings were so different. I’m glad you understand!

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