A Perfect Title for a Clever Novella
Without hesitation this work receives a 5 star rating
As a geeky, nerdy, often too much into my head woman, I found myself intensely connected to the main character of Syncopated Rhythm. Perhaps the clue that this book was going to work for me was that I was wearing the same t-shirt that the main character had on during the first pages! Serenpididous, to say the least.
Within the span of a two word title Syncopated Rhythm, Erik Schubach managed to convey both the essence and the complexity of the novella’ s plot. In music, syncopation contains an interruption to the regular flow of rhythm often by an insertion of an unexpected tempo that renders the entire tune “off-beat.” In Schubach’s story, the over arching theme centers on quirkiness; a quirkiness bedeviled by navigating change, both in setting and in the characters themselves.
Everything and everyone conveys the off-beat, all the while being funny, engaging, and relatable.
Kylee, the main character, comes alive on the page as the uber achiever in school that takes a while to find her way once college ends. She is that clever woman, absolutely a “super gamer geek girl” who responds within conversation by using obscure allusions to cartoons, song lyrics, and Shakespeare. Even her clothing and car name identified her as a sci-fi loving brainiac. This disposition as a brainiac belies her social awkwardness, which draws in nicely the other characters of the plot. Such awkward quirkiness necessitates others who get that unique personality and can take her, as she is, into the larger social strata and, ultimately blossom. Schubach describes this aptly, believably, and creates an even clearer view of the each characters’ mindset, not just Kylee’s, by means of fantastic use of both internal and external dialogue. At one point, Kylee mulls over attention given to her by Amber, the like/lust/love interest. Schubach creates the perfect scene of confusion. How many of us, as awkward geeky girls, have not worried whether the hot girl is laughing with us or at us?
The setting and the plot seem ripe with complexity, but not over wrought in the least. Each layer of complexity works well: developed by employment of other characters, their interaction, multiple perspectives on situations within the plot line. Actually, it adds more depth to the story, or in keeping with the allusion set forth by the title, adds a richness to the tune.
I enjoyed every aspect of this book. I loved the small facets that help to build believable characters, their families, past, insecurities. More than that, I found the richness of the weaving of the characters into a tune that indeed had a rhythm to it that changed, moved in different directions, all the while making sense in its over all off-beat tempo of quirky, yet memorable.
My wardrobe while reading: