Have you ever seen a reflection of yourself and fought to recognize the person staring back at you? Have you ever let yourself slip so far into the daHave you ever seen a reflection of yourself and fought to recognize the person staring back at you? Have you ever let yourself slip so far into the darkness that you thought there would be no way for you to propel yourself out? The inability to function, to care, what brings a person back from that?
This book isn't all rainbows and sunshine. I respect it for that. The story of Giselle's anorexia wasn't necessarily familiar to me, and at first I struggled to see any reality in it. It must be so sweet to have a single persistent voice telling you to self-destruct, to be miserable. It seems so easy. A nice little answer wrapped up in a black tulle bow. I wished Giselle were more complex. I wish her problems went deeper, there was more mystery and depth to her character. Yet still, there was such a dark, intense beauty about this book.
There is one moment toward the end where Holly looks at Giselle and has a realization: "Then I remember how Giselle is one of those people who can't wait for things to be over, even fun things, like concerts, or camping. I'm afraid she might just tear through her life without ever enjoying anything, except this, except pain. Still, Giselle's misery is terrible and beautiful, like stained white cotton dresses."
To go through life and experience and almost enjoy pain...THAT registers to me as a passage speaking of genuine experience. Clearly, there are many who won't connect to this passage the way I did. For others this isn't anything. It will mean nothing to finally recognize a different kind of pain, of misery and living. The image of stained white cotton dresses...
In one section where Giselle is narrating the reader is finally shown a clear view of just how far Giselle has slipped into the darkness. She is so far gone that it takes looking into the eyes of a stranger, beaten by life to recognize who she has become. "The dyed-blond, who could be ten years older or younger than me, doesn't seem to notice how freaky I look. Like me, she's sort of a she-male..." "And, for the first time in weeks, someone looks into my face, not afraid of what they'll see."
This book was really quite depressing, but it isn't too heavy. Anorexia will eat away at a person but if in the end there is peace, then isn't that what truly matters?!? I am appreciative for the lack of a happy ending. What is real is that sometimes our dark impulses really do drive us to a deep dark grave. And, maybe it is good for a bunch of whiny adolescents to read a book about the reality of things every once and a while.
I wanted to like this book. I really really tried, but it just wasn't happening. I couldn't breathe the entire time I had this book in my hands. I felI wanted to like this book. I really really tried, but it just wasn't happening. I couldn't breathe the entire time I had this book in my hands. I felt abused by it, for reasons I can't even begin to explain. I wonder if some people just enjoyed this book because of its status as a "classic" and not really for its content or quality. Perhaps, I may have read it too quickly and missed some of the wit and humor that is supposed to be in it. Regardless of the reasons, this book was just not for me.
Upon rereading Candide...I still haven't changed my mind. I did however understand more the second time around. ...more
I really like the concept, using Star Wars to teach Buddhism, but I think the book oversimplifies. It got to the point where I was just skimming throuI really like the concept, using Star Wars to teach Buddhism, but I think the book oversimplifies. It got to the point where I was just skimming through whole paragraphs, because I was just being told what I already knew....more