Wednesday, December 19, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: “An Extraordinary Theory of Objects” by Stephanie LaCava

An Extraordinary Theory of ObjectsAn Extraordinary Theory of Objects Stephanie LaCava
Published: December 4, 2012
ISBN-10: 0061963895
Genre: Memoir
Source: TLC Book Tours 

From the back of the book:
An awkward, curious girl growing up in a foreign country, Stephanie LaCava finds solace and security in strange yet beautiful objects.
When her father’s mysterious job transports her and her family to the quaint Parisian suburb of Le Vesinet, everything changes for the young American.  Stephanie sets out to explore her new surroundings and to make friends at her unconventional international school, but her curiosity soon gives way to feelings of anxiety and deep depression.

In her darkest moments, Stephanie learns to filter the world through her peculiar lens, discovering the uncommon, uncelebrated beauty in what she finds.  Encouraged by her father through trips to museums and scavenger hunts at antique shows, she traces and interconnected web of narratives of long-ago outsiders, and of objects historical and natural, that ultimately help her to survive.

Thoughts on Content: (3.0 / 5.0): 
This is, at heart, a story about teenage depression.  It is rare, or at least rare in my readings, to find such a candid first-person account.  LaCava is still a young woman and the narrative of this books takes place within the last decade—the wounds are still raw. 
LaCava does a very good job of distinguishing between your average teenaged angst and depression, and she does this without hitting the reader over the head labels and psychology.

Thoughts on Style (3.0 / 5.0): I found LaCava to be a beautifully lyrical writer.  As I said, she is able to delicately, but realistically, describe the pain of teenage depression.   However, I was also horribly distracted by all the footnotes in this book.  There was nothing wrong with the footnotes themselves—there was a great deal of interesting information—it was just annoying to have them as a constant in the book.  I wasn’t sure if I should be reading the prose of the book, the footnotes, or if I should just read the book twice—once for the prose and once for the footnotes.

My Thoughts (2.0 / 5.0):
I have to be honest here.  This book just didn’t work for me.  The subject was interesting, but the constant interruptions of the footnotes played a role in preventing me from becoming emotionally invested in the story.  And, frankly, despite LaCava’s lovely writing, I just didn’t feel that there was very much substance in this book.  I think that there could be much more to LaCava’s story, but it just isn’t in this book.
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Need a second opinion?  Check out some of the other stops on this blog tour (links go to the blog, not the specific review):

Tour Dates
Wednesday, December 5th: Dolce Bellezza
Thursday, December 6th: The Feminist Texican [Reads]
Friday, December 7th: Great Imaginations
Monday, December 10th: Stephany Writes
Tuesday, December 11th: Bibliosue
Wednesday, December 12th: nomadreader
Thursday, December 13th: Conceptual Reception
Monday, December 17th: Walking With Nora
Tuesday, December 18th: Unabridged Chick
Thursday, December 20th: Olduvai Reads
Wednesday, December 26th: BookNAround
Thursday, December 27th: Luxury Reading
Friday, December 28th: What She  Read …
Monday, December 31st: Becca’s Byline
Tuesday, January 1st: In the Next Room

This review is part of a blog tour by TLC Book Tours.  I received a copy of the book to read and review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are mine, and mine alone.

AFFILIATE LINK: Buy this book at Amazon.


  1. This book sounds interesting, in theory. I think the footnotes would kind of drive me crazy, though.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.