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
Good reads win (thanks again love)
The plot was jagged and torn by too many subplot and divisions. It had no clear indication of an initial or final destination which was one of its largest failings. Within it we have the magically superhero squirrel. Flora looking for independence, security, and love. But flora lives vicariously through the animal's accomplishments using them as some sort of extension for herself, almost as if she can get the life, hope, self love etc that was absent before she met this squirrel. Loneliness plagued her. Loneliness absent of the animal continues to plague here; she regresses. Friendless, she has the forced eagerness to attach to something that, if it wasn't a squirrel it might have been an ant; they too can lift things that are very heavy...
Oh characters.... If you can call them that...
We have a father who has apparently had a stroke and says 'how do you do' so many times my eyes are bleeding except he hasn't had a stroke his character just seems like it was composed of those drawings pre-schoolers do where the teacher says 'what's this what did you draw johnny' and he said 'it's a man saying how do you do to a waitress'. The next day, same assignment, same question and the kid said' it's a man saying how do you do to a neighbor'..... Over and over again.
Then you have William the child with somatic disorder that apparently derives from trauma that is cute (eh, in the manner in which it is conceptualized) and personal and could have gone in some constructive direction, but faltered and developed into deflated slush. Then you have a mother you wish was killed in some Dexter manner that is both detached and reactionary in this give and take, push and pull manner that really echos borderline personality disorder. Trust me you will want her dead by mid-book.
Then you have the father's next door neighbor who is overly philosophical like one of those desk day calendar your mom sent you on your first job post graduation, because, having a law degree and becoming a desk clerk can't get anymore splendid. God enters here in a shapeless and underwhelming forced manner that deluded this one, perhaps only really developed character. However her delusions and the lifelessness of loss pervades her very skin leavin a shell of her former self... She also reflects on this childhood that is more out of xfiles meets harry Potter with a bit of lsd in the mix, which is, by far the most totally irrelevant element of the story.
Ok, what else do we have. You have the symbolism of an object that stands quietly in a room and creates this sort of atmosphere between child and parent that brings to mind a Flynn novel but more desperate.
Oh and a psychotic cat too... you have that. Antisocial and apt to attack without cause or provocation, this cat will slice your throat without a flick of its whiskers.
Actually if you open your diagnostic and statistics manual for mental illness you will be able to go front to back and find an example of each character in this big gray book used by clinicians.
What brings this all together where the rough sketches that could bring an adult to his or her knees in terrorizing nightmares. I know they are raw drafts, but come on.
The dialog is a nightmare. It is flat. It is without soul. It is void of feeling and passion. It takes a really special author to make an eleven years old talk like a pompous undergraduate in his second semester of a lit major; Good Will Hunting bar scene. It takes a special person to make a father that repeats the same line ten times, while also using Freudian tactics to avoid any sort of emotional connection. It really takes a special, and pretty off balanced author to write three hundred pages without a hint, a grain of emotional reflection or an ending that may—even to the younger age child targeted—provide a semblance of meaning at its completion.
This book tried to hard, fails to collectively address the many, many subplot that end abruptly, not contributing to the larger concepts, and includes narrative that, upon reflecting on my early elementary school 'complete the sentence work sheets', really carries the same lack of effort and haste. The philosophical notions seem endlessly piled on top of one another in an apparent urge to teach the reader some concept that, after their clumsy inception, is reminiscent of a really dreadful meal with good ingredients, but horror execution and poor seasoning. It's tiresome, regurgitation of the themes of friendship, heroism, life, personal change, relationship problems, parental issues, etc in a very juvenile and novice manner.
Oh yes i get the idea that I am not the targeted audience here. But this book is a direct insult of an eight to twelve years old's intelligence.