Hello, everyone! I recently finished Emma Cline’s debut novel The Girls, a tale of one girl’s summer in a Manson-inspired cult which apparently sold for a cool $2 million advance. I gave up on reading books about bored, apathetic teenage girls around 9th grade, but I was suckered in by the punchy, cool-girl cover design. Readers, don’t be fooled. The Girls is a trashy teen lit book dressed up as a sophisticated thriller, mired with angst, female self-hatred, dangerously sexy older girls, and men so uniformly despicable that they belong in a treatise on misandry. The prose is entertaining, but overworked. Worst of all, the whole thing is tiresome. Everything from the plot to the characters to Evie’s individual thoughts have been done before. But Cline’s fatal flaw is in her protagonist: Evie is a Nick Carraway with no Gatsby to make up for it.
Hello, everyone! For my 100th blog post, I’m reviewing Revolutionary Road, a phenomenal book and a keystone in the suburban disillusionment genre, which includes icons like American Beauty and Mad Men. Chances are, if you’ve viewed either of these works, the fundamental themes and character beats in Richard Yate’s Revolutionary Road won’t be, well, revolutionary, but their timeliness and sincerity is what makes the novel a must-read. Looking back on the Fifties from our lofty pedestals, it’s clear to see the stifling role that traditional society played in the lives of young Americans, but writing this novel in the wave of traditionalism, Yates’ novel was an urgent voice against the dangers of complacency.
My school’s summer reading is chosen by the students, which means that I’m inevitably forced to read dystopian YA fiction, instead of, I don’t know, quality writing. Two years ago, the populace decided on Divergent, which I abandoned in favor of the Wikipedia article and Shailene Woodley, and last year we were supposed to read Between Shades Of Gray, which didn’t seem too bad, but I’d rather spend my valuable reading time on books of my own choosing. This summer’s read is Unwind, a (you guessed it) dystopian YA novel by Neal Shusterman. Prepare to be barraged with confusion… Continue reading Suspend Your Disbelief #1: Unwind by Neal Shusterman