If you could see me right now, you would see a completely exasperated person. And here's why:
There is no reason that this book should be challenged. IIf you could see me right now, you would see a completely exasperated person. And here's why:
There is no reason that this book should be challenged. It's a little bit stupid, sure. It's a weird combination of simple and specific. (What kid who reads basic picture books needs to know the words " Fallopian tubes?") And yes, get ready to clutch your pearls because there are some very non-detailed and cartoony illustrations of naked people. I'll wait for you to wake up from fainting...
So, yeah. Screw you, book banners, for making me read books like this. Because every book that gets challenged makes it directly onto my reading list. It doesn't even pass go. And I so rarely have fun with them. So learn your lesson! Keep your mouth shut and I promise you - far fewer people will end up reading it. Dumbasses....more
Well, I don't need to wonder why this landed on the frequently challenged books list anymore. Any book that deals with puberty and sexual developmentWell, I don't need to wonder why this landed on the frequently challenged books list anymore. Any book that deals with puberty and sexual development is well-nigh doomed to find a place in Banned Books Week.
What I find so ironic about this book is that I question how broad an audience it would have found in this country in the first place if it weren't for the outcry. I certainly wouldn't have picked it up. (Oh, book banners. The stuff you get me to read.) While a lot of the illustrations are truly beautiful, I didn't really connect with the story. It could be a cultural thing, or it could just be that I no longer find young people learning about all the puberty stuff all that compelling. Or even really all that interesting. It was an awkward thing to live through - I don't need to read about other people's awkward too.
At any rate. Because of the book banners' outcry I'm sure this will have a place on the shelf much longer than it might have. Congrats, guys! Way to find a book new readers!...more
Now, having read this, I'm of the opinion that the rampant success of this book is primarily due to its fan-fiction status. The writing itself is utilNow, having read this, I'm of the opinion that the rampant success of this book is primarily due to its fan-fiction status. The writing itself is utilitarian at best, the dialogue was not great, and it quickly becomes evident that the author is British-writing-American. (Americans aren't widely known for using words like pram and keen.) The plotting holds up ok, but that's because Stephenie Meyer had the benefit of a professional editor, which this book could really have used. It has a component of BDSM, but i don't believe that's what draws the audience, either. (Regular readers of that kind of erotica would, I imagine, be looking for more. Or so I suspect.) But none of that is responsible for its success.
No, I firmly believe that this book is popular because adult readers of Twilight connected very strongly with its characters, and felt a strong desire to re-read the story with some adult content, and what better non-fantasy equivalent to the dangerous vampire than a man who practices BDSM? This book is a way for readers to reconnect with a book they loved in a new and, for many, shocking context. But if you weren't a fan of Twilight the first time around, I don't think there's anything here for you. But hey, you'll probably read it anyway. Everyone else seems to be....more
This installment in the Alice series deals with neo-Nazis and molestation by a teacher. If you're a fan of the Alice books, you'll enjoy this, althougThis installment in the Alice series deals with neo-Nazis and molestation by a teacher. If you're a fan of the Alice books, you'll enjoy this, although the ending felt a bit abrupt....more
Fair warning: This is not my usual type of book. I only read it because it's frequently challenged in libraries (also - why?? I don't see it.), and myFair warning: This is not my usual type of book. I only read it because it's frequently challenged in libraries (also - why?? I don't see it.), and my review will reflect that. Also be aware that there may be mild SPOILERS in my review. I won't say what does or does not happen in the book, but I will discuss the author's general strategy, character development, tone, etc. Think of it like a road trip - I'll tell you there's an unexpected hairpin turn that could have your car tumbling down a mountainside, but I won't tell you where it is. So make your own decision whether or not to read on.
I can see why people like this book. It's kind of designed to evoke an emotional response. Picoult gives us a scenario with no clear answer where someone will lose, and lose badly, and there's no guarantee that anyone will win. There is much gnashing of teeth. But the shifting tides of the issue at the center of this book, and the conflicting interests involved, mean that it's very difficult to find any character all that sympathetic. There were only two characters that I was mainly cool with (the father and the guardian ad litem), which in a book with this many points of view is not a lot. I read for character and plot, so this mattered to me, but if connecting with your characters is not so important to you, that won't matter. So yeah. I see what people like.
What was a solid three star reading experience for me (not amazing, but not a waste of time either) was ruined by the twist of the ending. This twist obviously doesn't bother many people. The book is carrying a four star average on GoodReads, after all. But to me, it felt like Picoult was in charge of her story until that twist. She was making a point. Making us consider her story the way she wanted us to. And then, rather than forcing the issue and coming to the hard decision placed so deliberately in front of us, there's a giant deus ex machina moment. Rather than coming across as a statement about the surprises in life, it came off like a pulled punch. She spent so much time creating this giant situation of ethics and emotion and morals and relationships, and then she refused to force the issue. There was a giant "god" moment that made everything an obvious choice, and ended the book. So what was a solid three star read became a disappointed two star read.
But at least I have one more book off the list of frequently challenged books. And I really need to look up why this book gets challenged. Because it's a complex ethical question? What do people think stories are for??...more