The title speaks volumes. It definitely is a sad love story, and because I was able to draw out similarities between the characters and myself I think...moreThe title speaks volumes. It definitely is a sad love story, and because I was able to draw out similarities between the characters and myself I think I found it even sadder. I found the book style to be... Interesting. It was a good glimpse of what the future could be like in this digital age. I bought it.(less)
This was my very first boyfriends favorite movie & book. Yes, he was a creep and yes we broke up, & no, I don't like this book. Too weird &...moreThis was my very first boyfriends favorite movie & book. Yes, he was a creep and yes we broke up, & no, I don't like this book. Too weird & creepy for me.(less)
After reading East of Eden, I became a very LOYAL fan of Steinbeck's. He's brilliant, so amazing, so far above most authors. Steinbeck goes back to th...moreAfter reading East of Eden, I became a very LOYAL fan of Steinbeck's. He's brilliant, so amazing, so far above most authors. Steinbeck goes back to the era and age where there is more to the story than a story. It's a story that's designed and then told in detail so as to relay some sort of feeling, or thought or message -- whatever. He tries to make a point... No, he succeeds in making his point thru storytelling. It's not just an empty story, for story's sake.
Steinbeck does that with all his books. Every single one of his books is jammed full, crammed to the end with meaning.
How do authors do that? Such an incredibly unique talent that some of them possess. (Not all of them!) And steinbeck is certainly one of them! Of Mice and Men is no different, even while it's abnormally short. He is brilliant with developing characters, of giving the reader a little peek into their souls.
This is a seriously heartbreaking story, and it's absolutely not for the weak stomached or weak minded. Gather up your courage and mental capacities and read it, it's seriously worth it and it'll only take a little while. A few hours, at most.(less)
I loved this book. From the beginning. The unnamed narrator is slightly annoying with her mousiness & timidness, but she ultimately grows up &...moreI loved this book. From the beginning. The unnamed narrator is slightly annoying with her mousiness & timidness, but she ultimately grows up & isn't so bad. I found this book to be almost a mirrored version of Jane Eyre. Verrrry similar themes, elements, plots etc. I didn't mind!! Love them both.(less)
Once again I'm having problems with the goodreads rating system. After just having given The Stars My Destination 3 stars, I felt as if I needed to gi...moreOnce again I'm having problems with the goodreads rating system. After just having given The Stars My Destination 3 stars, I felt as if I needed to give Girlfriend in a Coma a better rating than Stars because I definitely liked it more, buuuut don't really believe 4 stars is accurate. It shouldn't be so close to my favorites... (east of eden, The Fountainhead) But, 5 stars is what we have so I'll have to make do! If there were half stars, I'd go that route. I'd say this book is at a 3.5.
I guess I would say that this is an uncomplicated book about complicated things. You follow the lives of 6 friends who have been friends since hs. One of them falls into a coma. Which isn't even the actual thing that changes the lives of the other friends. Nothing changes their lives, and I guess that's the point. They are like I think 99% of the world. Getting by. Surviving. Rather than existing for joy. The comatose friend (Karen) serves as a way that somebody can see who they are as an adult thru the eyes of the person they were at 18. When the world was your oyster, and you were still full of hopes and dreams and naive but lovely world views. The book is really about life. It's about a lot of things actually. About the feeling you get as you get older, the feeling of disappointment. Of coming up short. Like life is never quite as good as you always imagined it would be when you were younger. (Why is it that it seems that age and experience rob us of our faith and hope?) It's about fulfillment and the lack thereof. It's about curiosity and the need for it, the need as humans to ask questions, to ask why and how about everything and anything. It's about fairly typical stuff. Friends getting older and going through trials, making mistakes and then making them again. The way you feel cheated when life doesn't turn out to be as great/grand as you thought it would be. About sitting around and realizing everything as gone to shit and you're worn out and tired on the inside. Replacing real life with work, and technology. IT's about all that crap. We've all felt it in some way or another. And that I guess is the part about the book I like...it touches on something very real. But it also feels kinda preachy to me. Karen comes back from a coma and it's a miracle! But she still has the mind of her 17 yr old self and therefor views her friends and their lives with the mind of her 17 year old self. She starts having premonitions, and soon enough they come true and the world "ends." Everybody just lays down and goes to sleep save these 6 friends, and one daughter. (who is also pregnant) So the world has gone to shit, people are decomposing all over the place, toxic chemicals and gases released into the air making weather horribly unpredictable and volatile. Jared, a friend who killed off early in on the story comes back and serves as a guide, not unlike The Christmas Carol. In fact, it's pretty much the same thing except instead of seeing what the world would be like if they were dead, it's the other way around. It's the opposite of the Christmas Carol. So basically it turns into Jared leading them around and healing them in different ways, answering their moody angsty questions and then eventually letting them come back to the real world but informing them they will forever afterward be doomed to forever searching for the meaning of life. They will no longer conform, but instead will need to be a beacon. They will need to show people that there is more, and that they should never settle. Always reach, always try, always seek answers, always have hope. And don't get me wrong, all this is great. These are great topics, and very real topics and I felt moved on many occasions. But like I said before, to me it felt borderline cheesy. I would guess that Coupland has a tendency towards the dramatic, the moody... the contemplative, the spacey. It felt... just depressive. Ya life is hard, and ya we don't always find fulfillment in everything we do but there ARE good things in life. Even amongst 60 hour work weeks, and bills and mind numbing jobs and text messages and emails and the internet, even amongst all that interminable bullshit, people find real joy all the time. There is real joy in small moments and Coupland sort of dehumanizes our generation. I think we deserve maybe just a lil more credit than that!! Come on. Give us a break.
But there were a lot of quotey moments. You know how sometimes authors seem like they're writing that way on purpose? Like they're just looking for little lines that sound cute and pretty or depressive in a pretty way? You know so people could put it on the top of memes, or people can write it down in their quote book, orrrrr teens full of angst can quote it to one another? That's what this book seemed like. But that doesn't mean I didn't dig some of the quotes...
" I didn't realize then that so much of being an adult is reconciling ourselves with the awkwardness and strangeness of our own feelings. Youth is the time of life lived for some imaginary audience." (How true is that by the way? And does it ever stop being true, truly?)
"Imagine you're a 40 year old, Richard, and someone suddenly comes up to you saying Hi, I'd like you to meet Kevin. Kevin is 18 and will be making all of your career decisions for you." (another true statement. How many of you at 25,30,40,45, don't look back and wish there's SOMETHING you could've done differently? Count yourself lucky if there's only SOME things, and not MOST things, or even worse... everything.)
"We were so young then that we didn't even understand what unhappiness could be." oh, life. How you teach us the meaning of pain.
and my personal favorite.... : "It's not up for debate. We lost. Machines won."
I think overall I would say that people should pick up the book and judge themselves. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't my favorite but I'm a firm believer that books mean different things to people at different times so you never know. It was good enough, I wouldn't tell someone not to read it. So pick it up and decide for yourself.(less)
I was lucky enough to not only not have anything so blatantly wrong with me that it was obvious at first glance/first meeting, but to also go to a fai...moreI was lucky enough to not only not have anything so blatantly wrong with me that it was obvious at first glance/first meeting, but to also go to a fairly mellow and low key high school where all different sorts of people socialized with one another and people were mostly pleasant. I've always had this sort of detached feeling towards the concept and issue of bullying. But more and more, issues arise where we are seeing people killing themselves, others, hurting themselves, all kinds of craziness and it's become obvious to me that bullying is way more of an issue than I realized, and that I really was very fortunate to have had the mostly pleasant schooling experiences that I've had.
So. That being said. Bullying is a very hot topic nowadays, it's obviously become a serious problem all over the world with people acting out in response by doing things like hurting themselves or other people and so on. Anderson has clearly capitalized on that "trend", for lack of a better word and this is THE go-to book when it comes to teens and bullying. It was interesting and sad to read about this sort of thing, my mind kept wandering back to my own experiences, thinking back on all the potential people who may have felt bullied. Did I ever speak up for anyone? Did I ever make somebody feel badly? Did I ever say something careless that hurt somebody? Sure hope not.
One thing I do have to say about this book was that it was a lil on the depressing side. Yes, I do realize that the topic itself is not a particularly cheery subject but the whole thing had a totally intense, heavily depressing vibe to it. I mean, it was seriously dark. The main chick Melinda has some seriously intense demons that she was struggling with and the two topics together, (view spoiler)[bullying and rape, (hide spoiler)] are just in my opinion, maybe a teeny bit too heavy for a book written for teens. Melinda's overall demeanor is just soo haunted and depressive, mixed in with the incessant cruelty from her peers and the book is one pretty twisted, dark book. But hey, it addresses more than one very real and very serious issue that real teens face every day, so at the same time I realize that it would be hard to shed a positive light on any of that. But even so, for such a thin and quick book, I found it a bit too dark. There could've been maybe some quirky humor, Anderson could've given Melinda perhaps a bit of wry humor…a sarcastic, funny attitude. But no. She was bleak, and haunted, and basically dead on the inside. I found myself feeling actually annoyed with her…she seemed to be purposefully depressed. It didn't feel like she was even trying to climb out of the dark place she was in. I was just thankful it was such a short book, I don't think I could've tolerated much more of that bleakness. (Despite the fact that there was actually light at the end of that dark tunnel)
I think it was a serious book that addressed a serious issue and for what it was, it wasn't bad. For teen girls it might actually be valuable to them. Teen girls do tend to be a lil on the emotional slash depressive side. wink wink.
I honestly wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. Unless somebody were looking for a book specifically on the topic, I would never volunteer this title to anyone. It wasn't a "fun" read, it wasn't enjoyable. But it was interesting and thought provoking and potentially significant. I was actually surprised when I read the sticker on the front cover citing the 10 year anniversary of the books release. It really doesn't seem that old, there was a very modern feel to it, it read very current. All things said and done, for what it's worth I didn't regret reading it and one might consider reading this book in a class of young adults. It's more that kind of thing than something to enjoy personally. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)