The Poser by Jacob Rubin (4 out of 5)


I got the ARC from Christopher at Penguin Random House (Thank you, Christopher). He sent several copies; one for me, the other for a member of my staff who hopefully gets off his duff and reads it, because I think he would really like it. I liked the cover right off the bat. I spent the first week of March- when the Internet was down in my house- reading around 13 books. I picked this one up, but had a hard time with it. I think because the character of Maximillan ticked me off. Something about him made me believe he did not have Giovanni, our young hero, or his interests at heart. So I got 40 pages and put it down. Sunday night I couldn’t sleep (Normal for me, that’s when a lot of books get read), and it was staring me down, so I picked it up. Two hours later, it was done. And I was kicking myself because I really ended up liking this book. A lot. I think everyone who’s ever wondered if they’re truly the person they project or try to be, would really identify with this book. I’m constantly trying to change things up, so I would be in that category. I saw a lot of reviews on review sites that expressed dismay that they couldn’t connect with Giovanni. I didn’t have that problem at all. However, I have complete understanding of when you can’t connect with a character and the book doesn’t fly as a result. Happily, not the case here. I would also urge you to ignore the reviews on the top two book review sites, because they are not all good, and this is a book that deserves to be read. I cannot stress it enough; make your own decision and pick a copy up, give it a whirl.

Giovanni Bernini has a rare gift at his young age; an ability to do uncanny impressions of anyone and everyone he meets. It’s just Giovanni and his mom, and she doesn’t discourage him. Max, a talent scout, sees his gift, takes Gio and his mom out to dinner, and woos him so that he can get him on stage doing this to make a living. His talents pay off in a big way, with him courting and finding success on the stage, silver screen, and eventually the root of all evil- politics. Giovanni crafts a persona that allows him to express his true thoughts, and all seems to be going his way. Until HER. Her is Lucy Starlight, a beautiful, enigmatic singer. Giovanni falls and he falls hard. He spends a lot of time trying to figure out what makes her tick. The thread, if you will, that “when pulled by the right hands, will unravel the whole person”. This is probably the part of the book I enjoyed most; the discovery of Lucy and how Giovanni tries to handle his feelings, her mystery, and the feelings threatening to take him and unravel him. Come on, it’s happened to all of us. You’re getting along as you are and you meet that one person that you just cannot figure out, but whom keeps you up late nights questioning what it will take to make them take notice of you and your awesomeness. Oddly enough, this is currently happening to me, and maybe that’s why this book was so much easier to get into when I picked it up again 3 weeks after I first set it down. The fact that such a thing is going on with me suddenly, probably made it easier to connect with Giovanni and the book. Because, honestly, before that, there are parts where it middles down and I had a problem getting back into the swing of the book. That’s the only thing that keeps me from giving it a five star review. Those parts are there, and they are the only downside, in my opinion. But, readers, if you can make it through those areas, Giovanni’s story captures you so completely, about a third of the way in, that you simply want to see how this is going to, well, unravel. Give it a chance.

~ by generationgbooks on April 1, 2015.

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