I enjoyed this when I started reading this because, being largely Irish, I enjoyed the milieu. But then, being largely Irish, I was all like, Oh yeah,...moreI enjoyed this when I started reading this because, being largely Irish, I enjoyed the milieu. But then, being largely Irish, I was all like, Oh yeah, that's why we left. It almost does a disservice to your Irish ancestors to wallow in what they tried so hard to leave behind.(less)
Is this really not in print at all? It was quite un-put-down-able, which was infuriating since it's on the computer. A print reader like me forced- fo...moreIs this really not in print at all? It was quite un-put-down-able, which was infuriating since it's on the computer. A print reader like me forced- forced, I say- to read a whole book electronically because it was too good! That is, its goodness was in the lifelikeness of its characters and places, and in its extraordinary believability as a novel for young adult sensibilities. Big name young adult novels are almost entirely, let's face it, for adults and by adults who have either forgotten what life was truly like before age 20, or whose experience with that age is trapped in a bygone snapshot of time. This book actually brought me back so thoroughly to high school that regions of my memory that I didn't even know had been darkened were flooded with illumination again. It combines the shittiness of true high school reality with adult concepts, experiences, and fantasies in such a way that it could serve as a didactic and motivational tool for young people to more efficiently grow up into who they want to be, like any good literature. It doesn't just capture the truth of the actual adolescent view, but also shows a way out of it and beyond it so that an adolescent reader could evolve by reading it. For example, Evelyn is an exact splicing of myself as a teenager and myself in my mid-late 20s. In high school, it's really rare to be actually secretly attractive- more likely, a kid is either genuinely hideous like I was, or everyone would immediately see through a cool, attractive kid's act if they were pretending to be a dork. That's what we call a hipster, and they're considered cool and attractive quite intentionally in spite of their weirdo clothes, and for women, that usually ends up being "hot librarian." That part of this story isn't REALLY believable in hindsight, but feels like it while you're reading it, and if I had read it when I was in high school, perhaps I would have become myself a little sooner. I do have a minor beef with the book, again in hindsight (because while reading, the imminent writing pulls you into the story with no reservations), and that is that the sexy time ended up being all but the whole culmination of the story. Usually stories with happy endings (no pun intended) end on the reaching of a goal that had been held from page 1, and in this case that would suggest that doin' it was the whole goal. Other interesting plot lines were even left somewhat untied in favor of ending on that, such as Evelyn's mother-issues. But again, this does reflect the real interests of high school kids. Finally, an editorial critique- there is an extremely small amount of typos and redundancies (particularly the overuse of Gabriel's "crooked smile" and hair descriptions, though that is absolutely no different from the work of one of the most lauded fantasy authors around, Terry Goodkind, and used as a reinforcing character visualization technique) for what this book appears to be (I don't know, something some kid typed up on their computer that happens to be damn brilliant), so I just wish that one little editor could look at this, publish it, and then I could own it instead of losing it forever in the cybervoid. Still a little bitter about that.