I thought I was picking up realistic fiction, but because I needed a quick audiobook I didn't check. Turns out this was an absolutely fabulous fantasyI thought I was picking up realistic fiction, but because I needed a quick audiobook I didn't check. Turns out this was an absolutely fabulous fantasy adventure with the feel and heart of the best realistic fiction. It also played with a lot of the "chosen one" tropes and in some ways felt like it could have been inspired by Harry Potter fan fiction - and yet, it becomes so much more. Those who are not fans of fantasy will still enjoy this book. As a huge fan of fantasy and the aforementioned Harry, I loved this character driven story and its unique take on magic. Fabulous!...more
This book isn't a master work of literature, but it does a decent job at explaining the mind of someone who is anorexic. I think it also can translateThis book isn't a master work of literature, but it does a decent job at explaining the mind of someone who is anorexic. I think it also can translate to other forms of obsessive/compulsive behavior. Here's what I think the author did well or got right based on my personal experience with a different eating disorder: *The obsession in both mind and body with an eating disorder. There's no moderation in anything. Everything you do will be to excess. *The distorted thinking and feelings. You can't help but believe the lies in your head because they FEEL true. You also believe the lies you tell yourself so you can keep doing the crazy obsessive things your disorder wants you to do. *An inability to correctly determine physical things like when you're hungry or full, tired or sore. *The way it effects every part of your life. *The way it effects and is effected by family, friends, etc. *The way that it feels like an eating disorder is this thing outside you that is being imposed on you (thus naming it or calling it a demon). *That a person with an eating disorder will not ever be completely "fixed" or "done" with their problem. They have to find a way to live with the problem while still having it - usually for the rest of their life.
Where the book faltered: *It's not as engaging as I'd hoped. People with eating disorders will be able to relate. People without them probably will get tired of reading diary entries that spiral from high to low and back again. Also the language is more formal than you'd realistically expect to see in a teen's diary. As a literary choice this seems distancing for the reader. *Despite following fairly regular diary entries, the last entry comes after a gap of a year and the end of the book feels somewhat abrupt. Thankfully the ending isn't "hey I'm all better now" which would ring completely false. Instead, we don't really see the main character going through the process of getting better to the point where she could have written that last diary entry. That's the part of the story I think that needs to be focused on - the story of how people begin to recover, although you still need the details of how bad it got to fully understand the big picture.
The book is worth reading if you are struggling with food (or have been accused of doing so). It's also a good way for a friend or family member to better understand the thinking of a person with an eating disorder. ...more
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
I think this book is really a 3.5 star for me. I liked, but did not love it from an entertainment standpoint. However, I was extremely impressed by thI think this book is really a 3.5 star for me. I liked, but did not love it from an entertainment standpoint. However, I was extremely impressed by the quality and style of the writing. The story manages to build tension throughout. The summary on the flap says (really short summary) 2 girls, 1 boy, one of them is lying. All 3 of the narrators/main characters prove unreliable in some way or another. Each voice is distinct, so when the author switches from one character to another, it's always clear who's mind we're in. There is a definite dreamy/unrealistic/fairy tale like feel to much of the story, especially the resolutions. Storytelling in general is an important theme - especially the stories we tell ourselves. Definitely worth a read....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