3.5 stars. As a whole, a satisfying read, though many of the stories left me wanting more, and once or twice, less. The revelation in the last story r3.5 stars. As a whole, a satisfying read, though many of the stories left me wanting more, and once or twice, less. The revelation in the last story really got me. The epilogue and prologue (which I reread on finishing the book), tied things together perfectly. I would definitely read more by this author.
I am in love with the cover. It took me a couple of weeks to notice the hidden message, which made the hair on my neck stand up. Very nicely done. ...more
A truly fascinating story, told well enough, but also, without question, the worst audiobook I've ever listened to.
I couldn't even finish the audio,A truly fascinating story, told well enough, but also, without question, the worst audiobook I've ever listened to.
I couldn't even finish the audio, ultimately; I was and am AMAZED by the terrible quality of the recording. Unfortunately, bewilderingly, the author read the book, and he sounds exactly like what would happen if Big Bird and Ben Stein had a child together. I'm sure that Harden is a very nice man, but oh, his voice! It is a voice for print, like nails on a chalkboard to my delicate ears. What could have made the producers of the audiobook select him for the reading? Bribes? Even worse, the audio was unmistakably patched together from multiple recordings, presumably taken in different locations and with different equipment. The transitions from one to another were VERY frequent, clumsy, and jarring. Just terrible. Shame, shame on everyone who worked on this recording. Shaaaaame.
**spoiler alert** UGH. I never had any intention of reading this book until Bitch Magazine posted a list of Feminist YA books on their website this we**spoiler alert** UGH. I never had any intention of reading this book until Bitch Magazine posted a list of Feminist YA books on their website this weekend and, much to my surprise, this was on it. I questioned its place on the list, a staffer said they'd look into it, and I second guessed myself. Turns out I was right the first time: this isn't feminist at all. What's more, I'd say that this is the literary equivalent of torture porn, except worse than anything you'll actually ever see on the big screen; this book has no redeeming social value whatsoever.
(Edited a week later to add some thoughts I've better developed since discussing with librarian buddies who both love and hate this book.)
I can't deny that this book will appeal to horror-hungry teens, and as a librarian I have to give it credit for that. But frankly, it is ONLY as a genre horror novel that I can give it credit. Same way I don't want to watch Hostel, I don't want to read books like this. Clearly some people do, so however much I personally might have hated the experience of reading it, I can accept that this is a different strokes kind of thing. But I have a real problem with this book being marketed as anything other than horror. It SHOCKS me that anyone could call this a feminist work.
Does it make sense to say that the bleakness of this book makes it pointless? I just wonder, what does a teen reader, or any reader, have to hold onto at the end? Kyla is already apparently damaged beyond repair when the book begins, completely broken and tragic, but well on her way to monstrous, too: using her own sexuality to control others who she perceives as being weak; viciously mean when she has the opportunity to be; positively gleeful over the thought of freeing herself at the cost of another girl's freedom. It seems to me that with the ending she gives us, Scott lazily skirts around the possibility of recovery, of any possible empowerment or justice. And I'm not someone who thinks every book should have a happy (or even optimistic) ending, I just think that THIS book becomes pointless without one. There's no story here -- this is a completely bleak and voyeuristic snapshot of horrific abuse and NOTHING ELSE, merely something you tell little girls to scare them into submission. I think, in the end, a reader has nothing to gain from this book except for a good scare (which it certainly delivers), and I think that does discredit it, pretty much entirely, as a piece of serious literary fiction.
I will say that I thought Scott's writing was much, much better here than in the very boring and awkward Perfect You (except for the dialog, which this author cannot write at all).
But all in all I was happier person before I read this, and the world was probably a better place before it was written. Yuck. A million yucks. I want a shower.
For a better, smarter captor/captive book, try Room. For a better, smarter abuse book, try Push. ...more