I appreciated this book for its literary value, not its entertainment value. In many ways, while the primary focus was on the teens denial of the realI appreciated this book for its literary value, not its entertainment value. In many ways, while the primary focus was on the teens denial of the reality of pregnancy, I actually saw the book as a critique of family dynamics. The teens in this book mostly had really messed up relationships with their parents. They felt they had to be perfect. This doesn't excuse the self induced insanity around the pregnancy and how it was handled, but in watching the fall-out from this tragic situation, it is clear exactly how these kids ended up where they did. Fascinating & heartbreaking....more
I just don't know how to feel about this book. It's extremely literary & compelling, but not entertaining in the traditional sense. It's kind of gI just don't know how to feel about this book. It's extremely literary & compelling, but not entertaining in the traditional sense. It's kind of genius, but also has the potential to kind of trigger a person's emotional issues. (At least it did for me.) So is it one of the best? Maybe. Will I recommend it for every reader? No. But for some, definitely....more
This is an incredibly important book & worth reading by just about anyone. It is very well done. For that I gave it 4 stars, not so much for enterThis is an incredibly important book & worth reading by just about anyone. It is very well done. For that I gave it 4 stars, not so much for entertainment value. I don't know that I'd read it over again. I don't really want to go through the twisting churning emotions I felt reading it the first time. It is agonizing at some points, but in the end we see Eden face her challenges and work through something in her past and become ready to face something new. There's no sugarcoating things in this story - either physical or emotional. So even though it hurts, I think it's important to understand what this kind of journey might be like for someone & also to build empathy in us as readers.
It also goes on my personal mental list of ineffective parents failing at their job of noticing what's going on with their kid!!! (I'll spare you that rant today.)...more
To not produce spoilers, I'll keep this simple. I liked the story. I think I would have loved it if it had been in prose, not a play format. (StraightTo not produce spoilers, I'll keep this simple. I liked the story. I think I would have loved it if it had been in prose, not a play format. (Straight up disclaimer: I never love reading a play - seeing them is entirely different. In plays, people tend to come off as cold to me because I lack the context that prose provides.) So it didn't feel totally cannon to me. It read more like high quality fan fiction.
Anyway, that said, I kind of fell in love with Scorpius. He was the best character in the book. I felt the voice of Harry was off. He just didn't sound like himself. This was true of Hermione, Ron & Ginny too, but to a lesser extent. I assume this is because the dialogue was written by the playwrights, not Rowling, but it was somewhat off-puting.
I SO wish she'd have written it as a novella. I think if she had, there'd be a better emotional connection with the characters & what Harry's going through as a parent, trying not to mess up & still doing so by how he's trying. I also think Albus would have seemed more sympathetic & less self centered. I mean think about it - if we hadn't had all of young Harry's exploits in prose, we'd have never known his thinking & feeling, his decency & compassion. We'd have only seen him be - as a normal teen is - irrational & kind & angry (& totally human too). But we would only see him from the outside & we wouldn't know the why of everything & I don't think he'd have been as likeable or the stories as popular. OK, rant done....more
This book is an amazing, enlightening, and yes, kind of awkward read that should be required for parents of pre-teen, teen, and college age daughters.This book is an amazing, enlightening, and yes, kind of awkward read that should be required for parents of pre-teen, teen, and college age daughters. I also think it's worth a teen reading before leaving for college or before making decisions about sexual behavior. Honestly, no parent really wants to deal with this subject, but I particularly appreciated the way that Orenstein did not just provide cautionary tales, but went beyond to discuss the real experience of real high school & college students today as well as thoughtful ideals of what we as parents might want for our daughters when they are ready to engage in sex and how to help them get to a place where they are ready to make decisions.
This book is not inappropriate for parents of sons to read either. There are definitely things they can take away as well.
This author's perspective definitely leans toward the liberal side. I really appreciated the way she steered the reader away from the perspective of equating goodness/badness as a person with the ifs/whens/whats/how much of sexual activity (which I agree can be very damaging). Instead I liked the idea she suggested about asking young people to review their sexual choices to determine if there were things they feel satisfied with or feel regret about. (I'm quite sure I'm not articulating this as well as the author.) It allowed for a values neutral approach to sexual decisions. In other words if a person decides they want to wait until X time/situation, and that makes them feel good about themself, OK. If another person wants to engage in Y but not Z, and that makes them feel good about themself, OK also.
I definitely did not walk away from this book having my core beliefs regarding teens and sex dramatically changed, but I did have my perspective shifted in regard to how I think about the sexual choices my daughter will have to make and how I can help her to do so in a way that is (hopefully) not shame inducing. Yes, uncomfortable conversations were had, not for the first time, and will be again. But I believe that as a parent my most important job is to raise my child to be well. I repeat: well, which is different from happy & healthy & educated (but generally includes all of them and more). And for me, I realized because of what the author was able to articulate, part of well is that my child be capable to make healthy affirming decisions about sex for herself when the time comes.
This is an emotionally tough read. It pulls no punches about the horror of war and the violence committed against soldiers and civilians. In particulaThis is an emotionally tough read. It pulls no punches about the horror of war and the violence committed against soldiers and civilians. In particular, the sexual violence toward women is very difficult to read. However, despite that, it's an important glimpse into a part of the conflicts that eventually became WW2 that is not often explored. Well worth reading. ...more
It wears its agenda on its sleeve, but this is a story that people both black and white need to read. It explains in a way that I never seem to be ablIt wears its agenda on its sleeve, but this is a story that people both black and white need to read. It explains in a way that I never seem to be able to just what african-americans are up against in the stereotyped mindset of so many people in this country. It also talks about the uncomfortable journey that whites have to go on to accept the reality of these experiences and become honest about their own thought processes. I particularly liked how Rashad's dad was portrayed as an african=american who has also on occasion succumbed to the common mindset that blacks have to be watched more carefully for criminal behavior. To me it displayed an honesty in the novel that this is not only a problem of race, but a problem with an American way of thinking. It is so easy to fall into the thinking that reduces an individual to a profile or stereotype. It's something we all have to fight against within our selves....more