this is not a YA novel. i am embarrassed at how long it took me to clock that. pages and pages of densely-crowded and repetitious "fucks" and "cunts" and wanking, prostitution, rapes, drugs, graphic violence, suicide, and my only thought was "wow, european YA is so progressive..."
but no. not every book with a teenage protagonist is a YA book. lesson learned.lesson should have been learned after Pure and The God of An ...more
Conkers, boak, stouter, choring, witters, womble, wellying, scants.
In case you were wondering, this book is written by a Scottish author. It’s completely un-Americanized. Google is your friend.
Holy fuck. I don’t even know where to fucking start. What the fuck is this? What the fuck was the point? Is there a fucking point? Or is this just supposed to depress the fuck out of me? I can’t fucking decide. Was it fucking aw ...more
When I first started the book it took me over 30% to figure out what the heck was going on. Once I did I kept thinking no way..this can't be right.
Anais is a character I can't decide if I love or hate. She has been placed in the Panopticon after spending her life in care. Not a good life has it been either.
More of this:
Then I get attached to the other kids in there with her.
She does some really bad stuff which is why I can't l ...more
Where do I even begin?
I guess I’m just going to get right to brass tacks here. The Panopticon is not an easy book – either to read or to review. It’s a book that I imagine will have an abundance of both 1 Star and 5 Star ratings and one that many people “won’t get.” I generally hate the use of that term, but since I’m not sure I completely “got” this one, I’m feeling it’s probably okay for me to use in this case ...more
I’m just a girl with a shark’s heart.
I don’t necessarily know what that means (can anyone really trust urbandictionary nowadays?) or if I actually understood what Anais was talking about half the time but if there’s one thing I’m certain, my cuss vocabulary expanded a few pages more thanks to this book. And ming-fucking-mong is a new favorite.
Sometimes, you can just tell from the cover/title combo. Hard as we may try to not judge books by their covers, we do. And thi ...more
I was all set to like this book. I have a secret fondness for dialects and cussing (really, I do; cussing has its place!). But this book is essentially plotless. It's a big pile of meandering thoughts told by a drugged-up, paranoid teenager.
15-year-old Anais, in and out of group and foster homes, abused as a kid, tripping from just about every drug out there, is, by her own ...more
~This book isn't appealing, feasible or entertaining.
~This book isn't about a girl who beats the system or even the system.
~This book isn't a thriller or a mystery.
~This book doesn't have a closure.
~This book doesn't have very charming characters.
Reasons you might want to avoid this book
~Anais, the MC, is very expressive and indiscreet ...more
When it comes to deciding which book to read next I don’t follow a list nor do I try to work through a stack of books. I tend to read whatever type of novel catches my interest at the time.
After browsing through a few reviews of The Panopticon on GoodReads I decided this story was intriguing, strange and quirky enough to suit my taste in books… so I ordered a copy.
I’m very glad I did!!
This book is a debut novel for Scottish author Jenni Fagan. It is very different t ...more
So many of our yout ...more
This was true when I taught ...more
“The Panopticon” is one of the best-written, saddest, most-moving and triumphant coming-of-age novels I’ve ever read—easily one of the best books of 2013—and I have absolutely no damned idea how to review it.
I love books like that, books that are so original that they defy easy analysis. So many novels today have almost identical plots: a stranger comes to a new town; there’s a meet-cute between two people who initially hate each other then grow to love each other, and work to save an imperiled ...more
THE PANOPTICON by Jenni Fagan is my favorite book of 2013 so far, and I've read a number of wonderful books.
Fagan creates an unforgettable protagonist, Anais Hendricks, fifteen. The story opens with Anais in the back of a police car, en route to another placement. She has lived in foster homes all her life, to the point that she believes she has no parents; she's an experiment from a petri dish. This placeme ...more
You can feel them, ay. In the quiet. In the room. Wherever you are-they’re there. That’s a given. Sometimes they’re right, sometimes a wee bit further away; when I want to hurt myself but I dinnae, I can always feel them then. They want me to hurt myself. They’re sick like that. What they really want is me dead.’
Anais, 15 years old, is suspected of assaulting a police officer and while the police complete their investigation she’s taken to The Panopticon for close ...more
The Panopticon is written in first-person, narrated by a 15-year-old girl named Anais Hendricks. The story is set in Scotland and when it opens, Anais is being accused of beating a police officer into a coma and is being placed in an institution called the Panopticon. The rest of the story goes through Anais’s time in the Panopticon and the life circumstances/choices that have ultimately led to her being placed there. The subject matter doesn’t make for easy reading–The Pano ...more
Being ill-treated by adults (particularly those who were supposed to care for you), and going through the care system, ...more
Although I was never bored while reading this one, I also never really found myself to be truly engaged in the novel. I was certainly disturbed by the content (it's definitely dark) and felt an overwhelming sense of sadness at the injustice so prevalent in this novel. But, I didn't find myself compelled by it. I ju ...more
It's like ... Trainspotting starring a drug-addled, [too-]precocious 15 year old crossed with ... Judy Blume? It's relentless. Intense. Witty and charming (for all its bleak horror). You'll feel like a dirty voyeur, trapped in the brain of seriously fucked-up Anais. I did.
The unreliability of the first-person narrator--is she experiencing a flashback? indulging in pure fantasy? experiencing symptoms of mental illness?--was interesting at first, but ultimately pointless. Refreshing, though, are A...more
We meet her after she may have beaten a female cop into a coma and she is being taken by her social worker to the Panopticon, a facility for wayward teens that keeps an eye on them 24-7. Anais is certain that she didn't beat the cop, but she has no memory of the event because she was higher than the proverbial kite when the incident occurred.
This story had the potential to be a brilliant commentary on a dystopian soc ...more
Part of what made this book really work for me was the willingness of Fagan to really commit to the voice. It took me a couple chapters to get used t ...more