I like the rain. I want to have a spring bookworming rain party full out with wellies—but not those Hunter Boots; absolutely not—, with yummy airy things like puffed pastries, meringues, mini fluffy cheese cakes, mousse dessert, macaroon, biscuits, crepe, and Earl Grey tea, definitely Earl Grey tea. and Tillandsia. We'd have lots of "air plants". Lots! And We'd read, but not anything structured. We'd bring books, trade books, read out-loud, pass books around between sentences and paragraphs. We'd leave with books we hadn't discovered.
I like books like I like my Jazz; euphoric, dangerous, occasionally a bit manic, sorrowful, bleak, raging, mood-incongruent, mournful, unforgivingly ragged, symbolic in a quiet way, warm apple pie for the soul. Give me a Plath style. Yōko Ogawa, M. Roach,
Criteria: Not rated on likability of characters. Not objective. I like Moxie Soda; chances are you don't.
time spent in that before bed reading slot:
5-until blurry eye 4-Later than I intended, but I still kept to my extended, extended reading time 3-I really should have been to bed an hour ago 2-customary 30 minutes. 1-book. side table. eyes closed.
How are common themes handled?
5-With an aesthetic that repurposes everyday themes into something fresh. Think of Hole Celebrity Skin covered by Cat Power 4-there is a comfortable air of familiarly.
3-Deja Vu 2. No deviation from its mates 1. Devastatingly trite, redundant, and stale.
Where would you keep it post-reading?
5-Next to my bed. 4-it's the center piece of my favorite bookshelf 3. On my other favorite bookshelf, but it's a bit dusty over their 2-Great cheap bookends 1-It never made it out of the box marked 'moving'.
5- Where is my teddy bear? Emotional-hangover 4- If I wasn't so emotionally stunted I'd cry. 3. Did James Cameron co-wrote this? Artfully contrived. 2- calculative emotional manipulation. This was literally written by James Cameron.1- I…feel…..nothing.
Mechanics (plot structure, voice, presentation, word choice, sentence structure, characters, writing style, pacing, and consistency):
5-Chanel 4-Prada 3-J-Crew 2-Gap 1-Old Navy
new love. Guy meets guy... I mean woman. the two do the swan dance of dating; meeting each others friends, sharing intimate stories and moments, exposing insecurities, merging worlds and sharing important places and things, making out, holding back, making out more, planning for the future, offending each others friends, closing off social circles, arguing and dedicating more time to one another, and inevitably imploding on themselves. Then comes picking up the pieces. Who hasn't, after a break up, found a your ex significant others brush under your bed, a beaded necklace in your underwear drawer, a coupon for ben and jerrys ice cream at the bottom of your purse (memories of new york superfudge crunch flash back), those damn briefs that you always fancied on him mixed in with your own, a ticket stub for final destination?
The narrator was like watching the hulk transform from person to beast. oh NO like Gizmo and water.
phase 1: self-deprecating sadness
phase 2: Packing up the ex boyfriends stuff, boxing it and returning it under the guise of acceptance, but really just being passive aggressive, obsessive, and cuckoo (to borrow a term from the book).
and finally... "What kinda crazy mix you done gone and got yourself into?"
movies movies movies movies everyyyywhereeee
This transformation from normal fractured relationship bereavement to edging on creepy was accompanied by incredible amount of movie references interlaced heavily throughout the novel, that, while occasionally achieving its goal of amplifying, supporting, and/or furthering the narration, plot, etc, often detract from the dialog and the overall novel. I found that the majority of these references consumed and constricted the beautiful prose, the unique and successful use of expansive sentences. The two overwhelmed one another. It bore a similarity to Swamplandia in that case it was the brother's storyline that fell short, botching the novel. Coupled together it became a muddled mess.
Another weakness was the overuse of run-on, lengthy, and verbose paraphrases. These are easily identifiable among the rather shorter collection of lines. It was a troubling combination between Blindness and a Bret Easton Ellis novel. If you have ever watched Rules of Attraction and remember Victor recounting his 'sextipades' then you have a good idea of what I'm talking about. Anyone who has ever seen that scene has probably played it back at least twice (once to understand it, and one to catch a glimpse of his bits....[really not worth the effort, though]). Instances of this occurring are a clear abuse of the rather tactful, and exact way Handler handled the run-on structure that makes up the majority of Why We Broke Up.
Additionally, our friend Ed was not as well developed as needed, or as i would have liked him. There was this superficial, almost transparency to Ed's character development. At times I gained a clear understanding of his physical appearance (the description of his naked body was contained, and really tasteful), strengths and challenges (there was this inner urge to break from his stereotypical jock persona and adaptâ€”at least somewhatâ€”a more delicate side), as well as his desires (mostly, he was horny). However, he was just out of reach. A lot of time was spent describing his ego, and how it manifested, as well as the conflict with his emerging sensitive side, however the details of both remained unfinished; a little buffing still needed.
Sex scenes and make out were handled tastefully, and were realistic. all to often we find a story that is so crisp and exact, but falls apart on the most human of all behaviors (coughs and points to murakami). In addition, the dialog was refreshing, and realistic, with the syntax and vernacular spot on for this age group, however, at times the author succumbed to over character development, and during these times the dialog became slightly muddy.
In the end, the potential of the unique structure of the sentences, and the stream of consciousness reflected within the pages of Why We Broke Up was restricted by a seemingly inability to refine this particular skill and style. Think of it this way, its like wearing black and brown; it rarely works, but when it does it shines in its rarity; it didn't shine here. I will give this book one thing, though, this is first love, the entire suck fest.
Yes, I'm quite aware I'm channeling the bitchiness and harshness of Nina Garcia