Review: Tape by Steven Camden


Tape by Steven Camden
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Harper Collins
Pages: 363
Format: Paperback
Where to Find:
Goodreads | Amazon

In 2013, a girl called Ameliah discovers a tape that a boy was recording a diary on. She had no idea who the boy is. She’s recently lost both of her parents to a car crash and illness, meaning she lives with her Nan. In 1993, a boy called Ryan decided to record a diary on tape to help him recover from the death of his mother. He is falling in love with a girl called Eve, who is living with her nan for a while during the summer.

The parallels are definitely obvious, though the identity of Ryan isn’t revealed to Ameliah straight away. Due to the time difference between the two, it was somewhat easy to guess how Ryan was significant to Ameliah butequally enjoyable to be with her when she discovers small things to connect the two of them, for example Nirvana mix tapes and sea shells.

The book is told in two very realistic voices. It was interesting to see how the behaviour of teenagers hasn’t changed much in twenty years. Despite being realistic, the book contained too many obvious coincidences – I know it was meant to, but as said, Ryan’s identity was easy to guess after the first…100 pages or so.

Generally a very quick read due to the big font size and average settings. There are no speech marks; the book is formatted like French novels with dashes to represent a new speaker. Strange.

 The blurb makes it sound like there’s going to be more inter-dimensional discussion between Ameliah and Ryan, which I was looking forward to, having watched and enjoyed ‘The Lake House’ movie, yet there was barely any conversational overlaps, despite Ameliah and Ryan both having the opportunity to speak to each other across twenty years. That would have definitely made the plot more captivating.

Apart from that, there was little fault with the novel overall. Ameliah slightly overreacts at the entrance of a new character, Joe, a 30 year old man who happened to know her dad, but then again, we’ve all imagined stalking someone, haven’t we?

An enjoyable and fast read, lacking somewhat in time travel, or love story as the blurb promised. 2.5/5 star