I am somewhat of a meta-whore. By that I mean I love all things meta, fiction, theatre, telly. ANYTHING AT ALL WHICH IS SELF-REFERENTIAL I COVET. There are various reasons for this, including the lovely layers, the opportunity to create deeper understanding and of course the appreciation of the apparent surface simplicity being a complex craft.
Tripple Ripple by Brigid Lowry is by all accounts a book that I should champion. It has three entwined stories. The Writer writing the fairytale; the fairytale itself and the Reader reading the fairytale. To put it bluntly, it is a very neat idea but conceptually it falls a little short. There is always a risk when embracing the meta of clunky and forced interaction between the strands. The book unfortunatly starts like this. Jarring and annoying you don't really get the opportunity to know the characters in any strand. This fortunatly weaves together much better as the book progresses. The writer's life changes and so does the story. It starts to connect all together in a very satisfying way. AND THEN. It goes and falls apart again. Pooh! I think sadly this is the fault of the Reader Character/story. There is way too much happening in her life and for it to tie in properly it should have really connected to the fairytale and the writer more.
I totally get that the entire thing is constructed to be like this and there are continually endearing reminders of this with the incredibly adorable chapter headings. But really. Ultimately finishing this book was frustrating. The would-be-glorious-meta-structure was only partially successful and ultimately I think would have perhaps worked much better with only the writer and the fairytale. These two stories were much more engaging, entwined and entertaining than the token teenage woes that seemed to distract.
Side note: Cover not all that great at a closer look, but interal design really awesome; different fonts worked surprisingly well!