**spoiler alert** What the fuck? I cannot understand how people are giving it 5-star reviews because this was one of the worst things I've ever read.
I**spoiler alert** What the fuck? I cannot understand how people are giving it 5-star reviews because this was one of the worst things I've ever read.
I couldn't believe the whole book was so black and white. Kate, a victim of horrible abuse at the hands of her mother, has been ridiculed by her peers for her appearance for years. In fact, they physically abuse her too (wtf that scene)! But her knight on a white horse comes to her rescue in the form of Henry, her friend from childhood who has recently moved back to town. Henry is The Perfect Man. He's rich, kind, generous, and has loved Kate ever since they were little...even though he moved away.
Henry finds Kate irresistible. In fact, we are told that Kate's beauty is what her peers, especially the girls, hate about her. It Cannot Be Diminished By Her Circumstances. Henry has no problem getting Kate to fall in love with him, though she refuses to tell him about her home life. Which, in all fairness, is really really horrible.
But the whole thing was gross. Kate had no autonomy. Henry saved her. He swooped in and literally is her salvation. She isn't able to do anything without him. Also, everyone loves Kate. Everyone who matters, that is. Which is Henry and his whole wonderful family. THEY LOVE HER IMMEDIATELY. THEY ARE THE PERFECT FAMILY. HIS MOTHER MAKES PUMPKIN SOUP AND SERVES IT IN HOLLOW PUMPKINS. HIS GRANDFATHER GIVES HER $1000 SIMPLY BECAUSE HE CAN SEE THAT SHE IS HENRY'S SOULMATE.
And why? I don't know. Kate is always telling herself that she doesn't deserve him and he's too good for her and, well, he's her only friend. GROSS. This story could have totally set Kate up as an awesome female protagonist, doing the best despite her circumstances, and using her own tools to love Henry AND to escape her abuse, but instead it's Henry who does everything for her. I mean, don't men always?
Henry even proposes at the end, even though they're 17. I don't know what 13-year-old wrote this book, but it was atrocious. It's some pathetic fantasy concocted out of soap opera-worthy melodrama, written by a woman who clearly believes that only men can save battered women. I had trouble believing that this book actually existed and that I was reading it. But, you know, why shouldn't it be? Millions of idiots love Twilight; why shouldn't they also love this piece of trash?
EDIT: The more I think about this book, the more upset I am. I actually think this is one of those novels doing a disservice to young women living with domestic violence because it tells them that only a man can come save them. This will make it far more likely for these young women to go from one abusive situation into another one, becoming emotionally dependent on their "savior", and unable to develop their independence. For example, Kate, who leaves her mother only to go to Henry.
(Let's not even go into Kate's mother's depression and mental illness, which is an incredibly sad story in itself...)
This isn't to say that Henry isn't a paragon of virtue, because apparently he's the Greatest Dude Ever. Which is awesome for Kate and all, since that really could've ended poorly. But Bennett could have easily EASILY made Kate the hero of her own story. I know I'm getting all rah-rah feminist (WHICH I HAPPEN TO THINK IS GREAT), but honestly, I saw this kind of stuff every day with my young female clients.
That being said, this thing was just crock full of shit. I apparently forgot to address the part where the Mean Girl bully beats the crap out of Kate at school. Like, physically, on the floor of the girls' bathroom, beats the crap out of her. It's needlessly violent and gratuitous. But once the truth about Kate's home life is revealed, suddenly the bully is all apologetic and weepy. Like, "SORRY FOR BEATING YOU UP. I THOUGHT YOU WERE ALL GROSS AND SMELLY AND STUFF. I TOTES WOULDN'T HAVE DONE THAT IF I KNEW YOU WERE GETTING BEATEN ON AT HOME. MY B." And Kate's all, "NBD, girl, I got you."
AND THEN THEY BECOME FRIENDS.
So...what's the message I'm getting here? That it was okay for her to beat Kate up had Kate NOT been from an abusive home? Or, maybe, and I'm going out on a limb here, Bennett could have made it clear that such bullying and violence is abhorrent under ANY circumstance. I'm not saying that Bennett was condoning the physical and emotional bullying by justifying it like that. I'm saying that was how it read in the book and I just wish that Jessica (was that her name?) could have undergone her own transformation in a different way as well.
In conclusion: if you're a sane person with rational ideas about how people should treat each other and you like strong female characters, you're probs going to want to throw your ebook reader against the wall. I wish I could give this NEGATIVE STARS. I know I shouldn't expect YA authors to be role models, BUT THEY ARE, because youth read their books and are influenced by them and TAKE THEM TO HEART. And that's why books like this and Twilight INFURIATE me. At least Henry doesn't creep into Kate's bedroom to watch her sleep. We should be telling young women that THEY ARE STRONG AND THEY ARE THE PROTAGONISTS OF THEIR OWN STORY AND THEY SHOULD NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THEMSELVES. We should never, ever tell them that they can only be someone in relation to someone else.
YOU DON'T TAKE A SUBJECT LIKE SEXUAL ASSAULT AND TREAT IT LIKE A PLOT DEVICE.
YOU DON'T DO IT.
I am BEYOND enraged.
Aside from that -- this booYOU DON'T TAKE A SUBJECT LIKE SEXUAL ASSAULT AND TREAT IT LIKE A PLOT DEVICE.
YOU DON'T DO IT.
I am BEYOND enraged.
Aside from that -- this book was flimsy. Every character was flat. Carolyn, our resident MPDG, was boring as she was "mysterious". At no point did I even buy into the camp, which Cam Post actually manages to make you question, the marker of a truly wonderful book. I ended up rolling my eyes a lot until I got to...well.
I love Gatsby SUPER HARD, and I found this to be a bit lackluster. I mean, to start off with -- it's the exact same thing.
(view spoiler)[Also, what waI love Gatsby SUPER HARD, and I found this to be a bit lackluster. I mean, to start off with -- it's the exact same thing.
(view spoiler)[Also, what was the deal with making Naomi not gay? Nick is CLEARLY GAY. If you were so determined to stick to canon, just go ahead and make Naomi in LUUUUUV with Jacinta.
Overall, this was too true to Gatsby, and felt formulaic in a way. At first I enjoyed seeing the modern-day versions of the characters, but then I got kind of bored. But this did make me feel way worse for Gatsby than the original ever did. In the original I mostly think Jay Gatsby is super naive and kind of dumb, and in this one...well, I felt similarly, but also TERRIBLE. God, Delilah. :|
(I wish it hadn't been a car accident. I feel like that could've been done better.)
Things that bothered me: that throwaway mention of Naomi's butch BFF who she didn't think was attractive because she dressed like a dude, but some girls must have been into that. Her saying that Jacinta and Delilah weren't "real lesbians". "Feminist" jokes or whatever bullshit. It felt preachy. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
It felt like reading an older version of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep, which has always left me a weird feeling. Like, it's just weighed down with so muchIt felt like reading an older version of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep, which has always left me a weird feeling. Like, it's just weighed down with so much ambivalence and misery. Weitz's character, Natalie, at least gains autonomy near the end, but ugh, the guy, THE GUY. Every time she's with him I wanted to throw the book into a wall!
Overall, the book didn't feel as transformative as I wanted it to be for Natalie. And I spent the majority of the novel being annoyed with her and her inability to JUST LET PEOPLE BE NICE TO HER. At least she wasn't as insufferable as Sittenfeld's Lee Fiora.
Oh, and I almost forgot: no means yes? WHAT A SHITTY SHITTY MESSAGE, WEITZ. NO MEANS NO....more
**spoiler alert** Read this after watching the first two episodes of the show from ABC Family, but wtf. And there's like a million of these! Why would**spoiler alert** Read this after watching the first two episodes of the show from ABC Family, but wtf. And there's like a million of these! Why would anyone waste time and effort to slog through this crap?! It's trying really hard to be Veronica Mars crossed with The OC, but really, I'M DONE WITH ALL THESE BOOK SERIES ABOUT RICH TEENAGERS.
Things I Liked:
1. Gaaayyyyyyyy. Applaud. I think I usually find bisexual or gay men in YA books and very few lesbian characters unless that's specific to the book, so that's cool, but it doesn't save the book from being a piece of shit.
2. I don't even know.
The whole thing is so slow that the entire first book is basically the pilot of the show.
PS. Making out shirtless with your sister's boyfriend IS NOT OKAY no matter how much of a heinous bitch she is. WAY TO TEACH SOME MORALS....more
This book is like the set up to an actual story, rather than a story in itself. I was particularly disappointed with the underdeveloped characters andThis book is like the set up to an actual story, rather than a story in itself. I was particularly disappointed with the underdeveloped characters and the conflict, which didn't even seem like it created any narrative tension. Also, it was resolved SO FAST that I could barely get my head around it. Ugh. The pacing also made it extremely difficult to buy into the romance -- though, to be fair, I do prefer a good slow burn....more
Ugh, the lamest. The protagonist is whiny, annoying, and just someone I absolutely loathed. Hated most of the story for being infuriatingly dull. HadUgh, the lamest. The protagonist is whiny, annoying, and just someone I absolutely loathed. Hated most of the story for being infuriatingly dull. Had some moments of excitement, but honestly, I am not at all motivated to find out what happens....more
It was very engaging and the beginning sucked me right in, but the quirky satire schtick got real old, real fast. Kippy's shortsightedness, awkwardnesIt was very engaging and the beginning sucked me right in, but the quirky satire schtick got real old, real fast. Kippy's shortsightedness, awkwardness, and lack of subtlety did not make her an enjoyable protagonist. Ruth was only revealed as ENORMOUSLY HORRIBLE in her journal entries (which Kippy accepts in the end??????). We get no insight into the murderer. I mean, barely any. The bumbling sheriff angle was ludicrous, and moreover just frustrating. The psych facility was probably the worst part, filled with stereotypes -- it only served to reinforce already damaging ideas about individuals struggling with mental illness.
I think people either love or hate this. I didn't hate it, but you can definitely put me in the "dislike" camp. I stuck around mostly because I had committed to finishing the book, and I wanted to see if my guess for the murderer was right....more
Took me a long time to read for no reason in particular. The book itself is fairly light. I'm not sure why it's getting all the praise or whatever it'Took me a long time to read for no reason in particular. The book itself is fairly light. I'm not sure why it's getting all the praise or whatever it's garnering. I mean, it's just not that interesting. Like, this is a dull brick of a novel. Don't read it if you're expecting high levels of entertainment because it will just be this mediocre read that you'll feel pretty much over with by page 10.
Basically, this is the dystopian Bachelor. The world-building has potential to be interesting, but we unfortunately never get to it because all the first book is about is this love triangle (which wasn't the worst, but certainly not anything to write home about). The main character's name is America, which really is the worst, and there's a lot of girls hating on girls, which I LOATHE.
Otherwise it's pretty unoffensive. It's just boring. By all means, please read if you enjoy boring description, flat characters, and lack of plot.
EDIT: Hey, guess what IS offensive to me? People trolling through Goodreads reviews and telling people who didn't like the book that they basically have no right to dislike it. I DISLIKED THE BOOK, FUCKERS, WHADDAYA GONNA DO???? WRITE A BETTER BOOK NEXT TIME....more