This is the book I picked for my book club read when I host the group next month. We read a variety of genres but mainly literary fiction and narrativThis is the book I picked for my book club read when I host the group next month. We read a variety of genres but mainly literary fiction and narrative non-fiction. I, however, always pick a thought-provoking YA read. I don't know the author, but I am an author myself. Some of my author friends had been talking about what an amazing book this was and how much they liked Ms. Oliver's writing style. As a huge fan of dystopian themed stories, I knew this book would be right up my alley. It was. I loved it. Can't wait to discuss it next month at book club. ...more
Loved the writing style and I loved the quirky characters...to a point. This book had so much potential. Alex, a young college student shunned by hisLoved the writing style and I loved the quirky characters...to a point. This book had so much potential. Alex, a young college student shunned by his family, befriends Hester, an elderly woman who is also shunned by her family. They form a sweet and delightful friendship, and together, they learn to accept and forgive. However, I hated a pivotal scene, which clouded the rest of the book for me. Had I not been reading it for book club, I wouldn't have finished.
In what universe is it acceptable for a man to force himself on another person and not call it sexual assault? Eric, Alex's new friend, was passed out drunk. Alex, who was attracted to him, unzips his friend's pants and starts to give him a blow job. The guy is freaking passed out!!!! Eric wakes up and the shit hits the fan. When Alex relays this event to Hester, he's not remorseful that he forced himself on a vulnerable person, and her reaction is basically well, we all make mistakes we're not proud of. Whaaaat? If Eric had been Erica, would she have reacted a little stronger?
If someone doesn't give consent, it's not okay to unzip their pants and go to town just because you find them attractive and you're horny!!!
As a reader, I felt betrayed that I had grown to like these two characters so much and was expected to accept this event (there's a similar event in Alex's past) as okay. Sexual assault is never, ever okay! Period!