Overall Rating and Opinion of "Forever Twelve"

Discuss the March 2015 book of the month, "Forever Twelve" by Meg Kimball.

How do you rate "Forever Twelve"?

1 star - poor, recommend against reading it
1
4%
2 stars - fair, okay
1
4%
3 stars - good, recommend it
8
35%
4 stars - excellent, amazing
13
57%
 
Total votes: 23

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mmandy38
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Re: Overall Rating and Opinion of "Forever Twelve"

Post by mmandy38 »

bookowlie wrote:Although I loved the book and already posted my review, I do have one question. Where did the book take place? Did I miss something? I generally like to have a sense of place in a book, whether it's a small town in Iowa, the overall state where they live, etc. Was it ever mentioned?
I was wondering the same thing.
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Post by zeldas_lullaby »

You didn't miss anything while reading--indeed, the location was not mentioned.

I left that out deliberately to give the story a sense of anywhereness.

Do I know where it takes place, inside my head? Yes. I'd try to explain it better, but I'm having a hunger crash! Must eat.
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Post by bookowlie »

zeldas_lullaby wrote:You didn't miss anything while reading--indeed, the location was not mentioned.

I left that out deliberately to give the story a sense of anywhereness.

Do I know where it takes place, inside my head? Yes. I'd try to explain it better, but I'm having a hunger crash! Must eat.
That thought did occur to me....the deliberate anywhereness.
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Post by zeldas_lullaby »

Is that even an OK thing for an author to do? <Shrug.> What does everyone think?

(I'm glad my blood sugar has stabilized! Should've eaten sooner! Onward to my next mini-crisis.)

As a precedent, I'm going to point to Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier, a novel that left one tiny detail out all the way through the book.
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Post by bookowlie »

Glad to hear you ate something. :) I thought about the lack of place, but it in no way affected my enjoyment of the book.
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Post by zeldas_lullaby »

That's good!

Having a place is a tricky issue. Like I said, I know where it is (it's a small city within 5 hours of Louisville), but what if someone from said place (let's just say, Dallas, TX--that isn't it), reads the book and is offended by my characterization of the place? I've had that happen to me, while reading books that take place here in Louisville. I get mad at the author for getting it all wrong. (We have the Derby, therefore we go to work on horseback.)

And then there's just something about narrowing the place down that seems to take from the story, like, "Oh, it's in Dallas TX. I'm not there, so this story could never happen to me." If that makes any sense at all! So it becomes a lose-lose with people in Dallas and not in Dallas.

So I could make up a place, but that's as obvious as having a fictional phone number that starts with 555!

With no place mentioned, the reader can pretend that it takes place in their own region. Every time I read a book, I "see" in my mind settings that I've been too--houses I've lived in, etc. So I imagine other people do it too. From my reader's perspective, knowing the book is happening somewhere else ruins the fantasy/espapism for me.

OMG, this makes so much more sense now that I'm fed! I can explain it now! I hope everyone took some time to eat something today.

At any rate, the book takes place in Ohio.
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Post by mmandy38 »

zeldas_lullaby wrote:That's good!

Having a place is a tricky issue. Like I said, I know where it is (it's a small city within 5 hours of Louisville), but what if someone from said place (let's just say, Dallas, TX--that isn't it), reads the book and is offended by my characterization of the place? I've had that happen to me, while reading books that take place here in Louisville. I get mad at the author for getting it all wrong. (We have the Derby, therefore we go to work on horseback.)

And then there's just something about narrowing the place down that seems to take from the story, like, "Oh, it's in Dallas TX. I'm not there, so this story could never happen to me." If that makes any sense at all! So it becomes a lose-lose with people in Dallas and not in Dallas.

So I could make up a place, but that's as obvious as having a fictional phone number that starts with 555!

With no place mentioned, the reader can pretend that it takes place in their own region. Every time I read a book, I "see" in my mind settings that I've been too--houses I've lived in, etc. So I imagine other people do it too. From my reader's perspective, knowing the book is happening somewhere else ruins the fantasy/espapism for me.

OMG, this makes so much more sense now that I'm fed! I can explain it now! I hope everyone took some time to eat something today.

At any rate, the book takes place in Ohio.
I see where you are coming from with not naming a place, but at the same time I don't think you wrote anything that would offend anyone from this place. I did kind of picture it near me-until the snow scene.... I'm from Georgia so I've never seen that much snow at once lol.
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Post by zeldas_lullaby »

Thank you for saying my book is inoffensive! You wouldn't believe how much I worry about offending people. I'm into clean humor. The location issue goes so much deeper, though. I'm chronically geographically impaired in ways that have to be experienced to believe.

When I started writing Book 1, my dad and I had several talks about location. We decided then that it was in OH, in an undetermined small city with qualities similar to Louisville as far as nice neighborhoods, parks, etc. But when I push further in my head ("Where in OH?") I hit a wall. HA HA! Psychological block, I guess.

Hey, I lived in GA for about a year. Small world! It's the only place I've ever lived aside from Louisville. I was in Bowdon. I actually did get snow there! Maybe that was unusual? It was just the one winter, ten years ago. I worked at a residential treatment facility named KidsPeace, during the night shift. Prior to that, I dated a guy on the opposite side of Atlanta, in Conyers. Any of those locales familiar to you?
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Post by mmandy38 »

It wasn't offensive at all-no need to worry! It is a small world. I'm not sure where Bowdon is (is it in mountain area?), but I'm very familiar with Conyers. I'm from Atlanta (well technically a little outside of it) but we only get snow maybe once a year(lately it's been a little more) But it's not much at all.
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Post by zeldas_lullaby »

If you cut through Atlanta's center, heading due west, you'll pass Douglasville, and then Carrollton, and then you'll read Bowdon.
I don't think there were mountains. I haven't been to Conyers in forever!!

Oh, I'm falling asleep.
:sleeping-yellow: :sleeping-yellow: :sleeping-yellow: :sleeping-yellow: :sleeping-yellow: :sleeping-yellow: :sleeping-yellow: :sleeping-yellow: :sleeping-yellow:

-- 11 Mar 2015, 02:21 --

:character-grover:

Bye bye!

:happy-wavemulticolor:

Must fall asleep...

-- 11 Mar 2015, 09:35 --

Wow, I don't even remember doing the wave. And that's the power of Ambien.
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Post by mmandy38 »

Haha good morning Grover. Those wave things kinda look like m&ms. Oh okay, basically at Alabama line then.. no, it definitely should not be mountains.
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Post by zeldas_lullaby »

"Good morning!" :character-grover:

I didn't think there were mountains, but the heck if I can remember anything! HA HA.
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Post by bookowlie »

zeldas_lullaby wrote:Thank you for saying my book is inoffensive! You wouldn't believe how much I worry about offending people. I'm into clean humor. The location issue goes so much deeper, though. I'm chronically geographically impaired in ways that have to be experienced to believe.

When I started writing Book 1, my dad and I had several talks about location. We decided then that it was in OH, in an undetermined small city with qualities similar to Louisville as far as nice neighborhoods, parks, etc. But when I push further in my head ("Where in OH?") I hit a wall. HA HA! Psychological block, I guess.

Hey, I lived in GA for about a year. Small world! It's the only place I've ever lived aside from Louisville. I was in Bowdon. I actually did get snow there! Maybe that was unusual? It was just the one winter, ten years ago. I worked at a residential treatment facility named KidsPeace, during the night shift. Prior to that, I dated a guy on the opposite side of Atlanta, in Conyers. Any of those locales familiar to you?
Some authors create a fictional town in a state. I assume it's so that they can take liberties with the setting. If a real city is mentioned, then you might have to be super accurate regarding sections of town, restaurants, etc. One example of this is Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner.....and yes, I do like her books, although I don't normally read chick lit. The book is set in Upchurch, CT, which does not exist. If you have read the book and know a bit about the author's bio (where she grew up), you can tell this is a fictionalized version of Simsbury, CT. Why do I know this.....I lived in Simsbury for several years and the setting and townspeople in the book are spot on.
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Post by zeldas_lullaby »

Hey, there's no shame in reading Jennifer Weiner!

You're right, and that is one fear of mine--getting the city perfect in its layout. Louisville is the only city I could do that with, but I have always seen the Advice Avengers as being in OH. Ooh, hey, I have a fun idea! How about we let the readers participate in my sequel writing by suggesting a name of a fictional small city in Ohio? I'll choose someone's idea and include it in my sequel! Anyone want to play?

I remember that Piers Anthony did something like that in his Xanth books--he named a character after a sick girl who loved his books--Jenny. He made Jenny an elf.
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Post by bookowlie »

Please don't feel you should alter the sequel to include a more defined setting. One thing that is nice about "Anywhere, USA" is that readers can focus on the universal themes in the book.
"The best way out is always through" - Robert Frost
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