This book was just OK for me. I thought that I would gain insight from Durrow's novel, me being that "light skinned-ed girl with green eyes" who faced...moreThis book was just OK for me. I thought that I would gain insight from Durrow's novel, me being that "light skinned-ed girl with green eyes" who faced a lot of the issues that the main character does growing up. However, this story didn't do anything for me. The characters seemed very one-dimensional, and the back and forth perspective of the narrative left too many critical details out for me. And the ending was just...weird. I realize that issues of racial identity are never really resolved, but Durrow could have crafted this story better.(less)
Oh Carmen, how you annoy me. Hip Hop Helen of Troy? Girl, sit down...
She dedicates this book to "all the single mothers who have struggled." As a sing...moreOh Carmen, how you annoy me. Hip Hop Helen of Troy? Girl, sit down...
She dedicates this book to "all the single mothers who have struggled." As a single mother, I feel NO kinship with this woman.
I never understood why women want to air their dirty laundry, especially when they don't appear to have changed, become enlightened, or learned a damn thing throughout their 'journey.' After reading this book, I'm still at a loss for why Miss Bryan fills 259 pages with bad decisions, three abortions, an std, and back and forth unprotected sex with dudes who could give a damn less about her. All while leaving her daughter with relatives, of course. In between these events, she manages to find 'amazing clarity' and God. Oh yes, and time to bitch about how Nas won't pay her rent and car note. Last time I checked child support was for children. How about getting a real job, Carmen??
I do admit I picked this book up in a bit of a rush at the library, wanting to pass my time away on the last couple of days before school let out with a quick, easy, and somewhat cheap read. I laughed throughout most of it, reading it like some hastily written middle school quality confession. This book meets all of the above expectations. Anyone reading this book for anything more than that is crazy. (less)
I loved every moment of this book. When I first started reading it I did not want to put it down when I had to, and when I wasn't reading it I was sti...moreI loved every moment of this book. When I first started reading it I did not want to put it down when I had to, and when I wasn't reading it I was still thinking about the main character. Told in a free verse, poetic style, this is the story of Lakshmi, a 13 year old girl from Nepal who is sold by her stepfather into sexual slavery. What happens to this child is absolutely heartbreaking, and even more tragic is the fact that tens of thousands of girls live with this same reality every day in the US and all over the world and very little is being done about it. I applaud Ms. McCormick's courage in writing this book, especially for a young adult audience. (less)
As a person who has been diagnosed with clinical depression, this book really spoke to me. Some of the raw emotion and confusion that Slater while bei...moreAs a person who has been diagnosed with clinical depression, this book really spoke to me. Some of the raw emotion and confusion that Slater while being on Prozac is completely genuine, and written in a beautiful poetic style. While i don't take Prozac for my depression (and a lot of the info seems more relevant to the earlier years of its use), the emotional ups and downs of being on meds are very much still the same today. Some readers may be disappointed that this book is more like a work of prose and not an traditional diary, but I found that this format worked for me.(less)
I skimmed the last 100 pages of this book. And the one star I gave it is for the creative concept behind it--a couple breaking up and the story of th...more I skimmed the last 100 pages of this book. And the one star I gave it is for the creative concept behind it--a couple breaking up and the story of their breakup told through objects in a past tense, epistolary form. But that's where all that is creative and good about this book ends. It's not that this book is terrible beyond words, but I found the main character so annoying that I could no longer bear her incessant whining. We understand that Min is pissed, but she rants on and on about the smallest of things (with the run on sentences to boot) to the point where you could give a shit less about what she was talking about in the first place. All of the other characters in this book seemed flat and one-dimensional (you don't hear from Min's mother until nearly the end of the book), and the references to old movies after awhile kinda corny and boring. Within the first 30 pages you get it, you get that they are different (the jock vs. the artsy type) but Handler lingers on this detail entirely too much, without adding anything else to move the plot along. By the middle of the story I was still trying to figure out why they had broken up. By the last quarter of the book, I didn't care why they had broken up. By the end of the book, I was secretly glad that Ed got away from this girl. :/
I would argue that part of the problem with this book is Handler's use of a female voice. I find this in a lot of books where men use women protagonists, the girl is not only un-relatable to female readers, but far from an accurate depiction of a typical living, breathing female. Not to say that men can't write about women, but Handler doesn't do it well, and Min was poorly characterized. Although the drawings are cute, I would not read this book again.(less)
This book was ok. Some of the stories were enjoyable, while others aren't. Jennifer Toth gets so personally involved in the lives of some of these 'mo...moreThis book was ok. Some of the stories were enjoyable, while others aren't. Jennifer Toth gets so personally involved in the lives of some of these 'mole people' that it left serious questions with me about its authenticity. If we are to believe that distrust of humans above ground drove these people underground, why do these tunnel dwellers trust her with their life stories? Some of her descriptions of tunnel life are also a bit of a stretch (hospitals and nurses?) -- but i dont want to write spoilers here. I don't like either how she takes a really interesting subject and makes it, in some places, as dull as reading a basic book report: there is odd, repetitive, and bloody boring academic pieces about underground societies between the stuff we really want to read about. Her informants lack any sense of real emotion, and her descriptions of the tunnel dwellers read not like real human beings but more of a lot of disjointed case studies. Fascinating book, however.(less)
I didn't finish this book. After about the first 25 pages I completely lost interest. The stories came off as kinda choppy and disjointed, the main ch...moreI didn't finish this book. After about the first 25 pages I completely lost interest. The stories came off as kinda choppy and disjointed, the main character held very little interest for me. Not my cup of tea.(less)
This book was just OK for me. Having read Dry and Running with Scissors, I'm very familiar Burroughs style of writing. With Magical Thinking, some of...moreThis book was just OK for me. Having read Dry and Running with Scissors, I'm very familiar Burroughs style of writing. With Magical Thinking, some of the stories were enjoyable, while others I ended up skimming through because they hardly held my interest. All in all, not as good, but not as good as his other books.(less)
I did not like this book, and I am a bit conflicted on how to put why I didn't like it into words. On one hand, I don't want to trash it completely be...moreI did not like this book, and I am a bit conflicted on how to put why I didn't like it into words. On one hand, I don't want to trash it completely because the author does attempt to explore a still very taboo topic, teen suicide. On the other hand, I am compelled to tell you why exactly I did not like it.
First, I feel like the book glorifies suicide. Not in the sense where the author is literally saying "do it" but in his characterization of Hannah, I do not like how Asher presents her as a passive, Ophelia-like character so overwhelmed with sorrow that she had no choice but to helplessly throw herself into the act. This is simply ridiculous. At certain points in the story, several characters reached out to Hannah (Clay and Mr. Porter, for example) and both times she acknowledges that she made the choice to push them away. Yet Hannah is not content to deal with this reality, she makes a series of tapes and blames others for her actions. In this sense, she sees her death as not a selfish act, but a way to punish others with guilt and 'teach them a lesson about messing with people.' Once again, this is ridiculous. Suicide does not = martyrdom, nor does it 'teach idiots a lesson.' Suicide should not be held up as a fair and effective way to get other people to understand their actions. And the worst part is that she expresses a particular disgust for people that didn't see "the signs" coming, such as, well, her getting a haircut. How is getting a haircut an indicator of suicidal tendencies??? Really, Hannah??? At any point in this story, she could have reached out and changed her outcome. On that level, Hannah's thirteen reasons fall flat for me.
Second, Hannah's reasons for suicide are unrealistic. Generally, suicide involves people who are mentally ill, depressed, and internalize their pain. But Hannah does the exact opposite--she projects her pain and blames others for act, which is not typical for depressed, suicidal people. For this reason, she was extremely hard for me to sympathize with. We learn absolutely nothing about Hannah's family or home life throughout the entire book, so we are left with nothing but her tapes and the ease with which she so freely blames others, which is just...bizarre. The issues Hannah dealt with are issues that are typical in high school and generally don't lead to people killing themselves. Getting your ass grabbed or being stood up on a date while hurtful to endure, does not send normal girls over the edge. And if she was not 'normal' (obviously, she is not), why not give her a home life or a background to help us better figure out her suicide? I felt like throwing this book across the room.
And poor Clay is put in an awful position. Clay is one of the 'reasons why' Hannah commits suicide, a part of a chain of events that could have prevented the suicide or talked her out of it but didn't, and for that reason it is his fault. Ummm...excuse me, he DID reach out to Hannah. And she pushed him away. It is obvious that this girl had deep seated, personal issues. Why is he to blame? Why is he on the list? In my opinion, the author presented no compelling reason why Clay should be held responsible for Hannah's actions. That's absolute bullshit.
Young adult novels should inspire young people to think and make positive changes about the world around them, not martyrdom and lessons learned through someone's suicide. I wish I could get my money back and delete this book from my Kindle. Ugh.(less)