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
This book is about Sadie, a poor (by rich peoples' standards) girl who gets a scholarship to a very well known primary school; think little brother to Harvard. Yes, we get it. After redundant description after redundant description, we get it, this is a very elite place, and readers you don't have a chance of getting in, that is unless you go to a seemingly obscure school, in an area of the country most people associate with recycling hippies, left leaning politics, and beer. Did you know 'For more than a century, Portland has been known as the "City of Roses"'. True fact; Wiki says so.
Oh how things happen to our dear Sadie—too many things if you ask me—, and far too fast for a novel that is only 288 pages long. She enters this world of exclusivity, with Jessica having her back. She met her BFF while on a little trip to explore the school prior to her attendance; because, after all a poor little girl from Portland had the option of rejecting a full paid scholarship to the most elite primary school in the US. All is set in motion, and she becomes best friends with many of the high social and economic ranking offspring attending the private school, just as you expected.
Things get crazy as she is kidnapped, forced to join this seemingly self-destructive club; a club that reflects every silly stereotype of a frat/sorority. She is even forced to give her blood—for even stranger reasons later resolved; well sorta. She enters a world that even pushes the limits of pure riches, as she is dressed to the max, flown to various elite restaurants, clubs, and other places. Hey, maybe this does happen, but not to a poor girl from Portland, even if she is successful in entering the cracks of their social circle. But this plot-line is heavy-handed, and all too often above the established guidelines of absurdity. The setting too where this club meets is successful in surpassing the highest levels of low probability.
Her roommates—twins of course—are the male version of Prince Harry, with their inability to regulate their inhibitions and follow the expectations of their royal title. Forsaken and hidden royal rejects often succumb to further delinquency—at least this is what we see in celebrity rags—and this novel doesn't fail to fall into the clutches of a culture obsessed with distorted celebrities into a black and white mold. The twins reject the notion of housing with a poor girl. They all get cuddly, though, and much too quickly if you ask me. To create an edge, one is a lesbian. I found this element disrespectful. The character's sexuality had no specific importance or relevance to the story, in fact it was only used in the ending as a means of adding additional shock to a novel that was devoid of even an inkling of logic and rationality in the first place. I guess when a novel fails to collectively address the spectacle that it is, it must rely on contentious themes.
Danger abounds and a plot to foil the establishment is established, implemented, and possibly successful. Half way through this novel your mind—if you watch trashy movies like I do—will quickly drift to Scream 2, and you wonder if dear boyfriend, the boyfriend our Sadie has grown to adore, hate, love to quickly, question, hate again—oh how being a teenage girl is so complicate—will suddenly be the bad guy. Even if she doesn't get literally stabbed in the back by the charming, long haired boy, she is the victim of a sappy, trite relationship.
The ending quickly resolves things; however it is overwhelmingly detached from the haphazardly constructed foreboding atmosphere of the middle and first third of the ending. You expected something more...complicated, err shocking. You expected an ending that might have left you off on a poorly conceived, cliff; even that would have been better than the ending. But the book didn't do that, and ultimately became a sequence of bad plot lines, misconceived and larger than life themes, and a occasionally confusing and often disjointed read.
I mean after all, the author did say
'Poor Little Dead Girls' conception was clumsy and haphazard, written in snippets at coffee shops and kitchen tables, on trains and city buses"
Well, this is very, very, very self-evident from the start.
Don't give your hopes up, though. I expect this to be one of those books that hits the stacks of your local grocery store, and has the publishing machine behind it that will make it the next summer read. So enjoy it under the dehydrating glow of the beach.