Thursday 9 May 2013

Review: Take My Word For It By John Marsden

Superficial note: I can't imagine this cover ever looked attractive, even in the 90s.

I was so excited to discover the existence of this book after reading So Much To Tell You. I was pretty blown away by that one, so I was thrilled to know there was a companion novel which, according to Wikipedia, would fill in the gaps and detail the aftermath of the first book.

Told from Lisa’s point of view, we get a little insight into how she and the other girls view Marina, the troubled protagonist of So Much To Tell You, but overall the focus is on Lisa’s own life. Which makes sense, seeing as how this is her “journal” and all. Considering the journals were a class project it was understandable that it would be used as a narrative device once again here. But while it worked incredibly effectively for Marina, I found Lisa’s journal quite ordinary. Perhaps it’s unfair to compare them, but being companion novels, it’s kind of impossible not to. The characters and events are largely the same, it’s only the perspective that changes.

I just didn’t connect with Lisa emotionally and wasn’t as invested in her story. The central “mystery” wasn’t as compelling as it was in the first novel, and it was all a bit predictable. Plus I didn’t get anywhere near as much insight into the events left out of Marina’s journal as I was hoping to. And while I’ve noted that So Much To Tell You is the type of YA novel that would appeal to readers of any age, I really don’t think Take My Word For It has the kind of cross-over factor that would make it of interest to anyone who isn’t a teen – and probably a young one at that. There is some beautiful writing, but overall it’s quite a bland book.

Rating: 3/5

Fine Print
Published: 1992, Macmillan
Get It:  Bookworld


  1. You're right - that's a terrible cover. Do you think it felt dated at all? I read one John Marsden book (Letters from the Inside) when I was 13. It freaked me out so much that I've never been able to read anything else by him

    1. I haven't read Letters from the Inside, I might have to check it out. It was a little dated, but I guess the core issues are the same.