I’ve heard about the stigma surrounding it, the ‘found’ diary, the banning, and the horror of a girl getting caught up i Holy Hell, I hated this book.
I’ve heard about the stigma surrounding it, the ‘found’ diary, the banning, and the horror of a girl getting caught up in drugs. I also heard how profound an effect it had on society at the time of its release.
It was 25 cents at the library so what the hell. First of all, I really thought that people thought it was written by some random teen, found and published to warn us all of the danger of drugs and a Godless existence. Maybe if I had read this when I was ten, when I picked up VC Andrews for the first time it would have scared the shit out of me but as a 45 year old mom, I find it cheesy, irresponsible, horribly written, and god is she annoying.
Yes, I am a cynic. Sarcasm is like a third limb. I’m biased. I’ve read YA books that are superior in so many ways. I know I need to consider the era that it was written, I can totally see my mom handing this off to me as a woebegone tale (along with the anatomy book that was silently left on my bed). It doesn’t help. I still think this is trash.
Reefer Madness, some after school special starring Scott Baio and Melissa Sue Anderson, Courtney Love… We’ve seen it all before… I just feel that this is a poor example.
The journal entry format is annoying… she doesn’t write like she’s a 15 year old…she is so wholesome in the beginning, ‘oh, I need to lose weight’, ‘oh, no one will ever like me’, boys are perfectly respectable, on and on and on…
The drug parts were a little interesting… they didn’t SAY NO TO DRUGS you, they let you see that you can enjoy it and it can be addicting and it always stays with you. And people will ‘intercourse’ with just about anyone. Anyone who has done drugs, or knows drug addicts knows this. The writing here is so generic, textbook, PLAIN. I can see a Mormon therapist sitting down in her cat eye glasses saying ‘this will show them.. they will all go to HELL’. Yeah, not my cup of tea.
If anything, I thought Alice’s time in San Francisco and Berkley were pretty damn cool. Oregon, not so much, but you can’t deny the street kid/drug issues of Oregon. It fit into the storyline.
I don’t know, maybe it works for some people… me? Meh. Not so much. ...more
Sorry, I had to get that out. This is the 2nd book that I’ve read this year. TWO, DOS, NUMÉRO DEUX. 1/3 YASSSSSSS!!!! I DID IT. I AIN’T NO QUITTER!!!
Sorry, I had to get that out. This is the 2nd book that I’ve read this year. TWO, DOS, NUMÉRO DEUX. 1/3 of the year down and TWEE. This is reprehensible. I am a sea anemone but not as cute. I am shamed.
BUT I DID IT! I finished what amounts to ¾ of a George RR Martin book with a lot less characters! Yay on me!
This was one book that I was indecisive on. Should I read it? I mean it won a Nobel prize, but then again, hype. My friends are talking it up, but I hated The Secret History. I don’t know… nail biting really (a testament to my awesome social life). Then, there it was, on the $1 table at the local library sale. This whopping hardcover in the age of kindles. Ok. Fate has spoken.
Then it sat in my bag for months. I wouldn’t take it out, I would carry it but never start it. Almost my albatross… not that I was reading anything else, but basically, not that I was reading. (frowny face)
I was skeptical, I still felt the agony of TSH… the trauma and dashed hopes but I plundered on… and it took a good 40 pages for me to say.. ‘oh, this is kinda neat’. Neat meaning that someone would actually choose to (view spoiler)[bomb the Metropolitan Museum of Art (hide spoiler)]. Who does that? Why didn’t they go into that? My god! Now I had to read on.
Ok, I liked Theo. I know he was a whiny asshat (with reason)Anthony . I get that. I can see the privilege being a sore spot. I can see someone slapping the back of his head with a ‘get over it, kid’ but I can see the other side. The trauma, the agoraphobia, the tinnitus, the flashbacks that you don’t really hear about but can obviously witness. This is what I liked about Tartt’s writing this time. She made you look for it. Each character is so perfectly molded and so layered that you can re-read passages and psycho-analyze it and it turns out different each time. At least for me.
I love Boris. I really do. I found myself reading his dialogue in choppy Russian accents (which I would NEVER do aloud) and loving him even more. He is so.. I guess Theo called him fearless… he will throw himself into any situation and not care of the outcome. It is what it is. That, my friends, is a talent. I can personally say that I map out everything that I do in fear of retribution, perception, judgment, blah blah blah. What it must be like to be fearless. I imagine your life is not very long.
“Well—I have to say I personally have never drawn such a sharp line between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ as you. For me: that line is often false. The two are never disconnected. One can’t exist without the other. As long as I am acting out of love, I feel I am doing best I know how. But you—wrapped up in judgment, always regretting the past, cursing yourself, blaming yourself, asking ‘what if,’ ‘what if.’ ‘Life is cruel.’ ‘I wish I had died instead of.’ Well—think about this. What if all your actions and choices, good or bad, make no difference to God? What if the pattern is pre-set? No no—hang on—this is a question worth struggling with. What if our badness and mistakes are the very thing that set our fate and bring us round to good? What if, for some of us, we can’t get there any other way?”
Here is where we get into what Theo is saying in the last 20 pages ( Sarah!! Peeking!!!). That old knowledge that we don’t want to acknowledge. Life sucks. It really does. It’s not fair, we learn this fairly early and then we swallow it and we find shiny things to occupy ourselves so we don’t have to think about the shit we’re going through. Ooh, I’m an orphan, can I please get an American Girl doll? It’s about surviving and if we have to survive something, then it mostly like sucks.
Pippa is beautiful. I think that the relationship between Theo and Pippa is so tragic. Screw Catherine and Heathcliff. They have NO IDEA. Imagine surviving such a trauma.. imagine being linked by that and all that it represents. I see how Theo feels Pippa is his salvation, his one true. I see how Pippa can’t let herself do that because of the instability that all that entails. I love that Theo can’t see that until much later, at least he had that light to hold on to. I love that she’s not like Kitsey… although I think I get where Kitsey is coming from. I’m not saying there isn’t hardships with privilege. (minor eye rolling)
Hobie. Oh, Hobie. Everyone should have a Hobie. He is such an amazing character, his charm, his bluster, his naiveté, his grounding. I’m Team Hobie.
“His reassuring hand on my shoulder, a strong, comforting pressure, like an anchor letting me know that everything was okay. I hadn’t felt a touch like that since my mother died—friendly, steadying in the midst of confusing events—and, like a stray dog hungry for affection, I felt some profound shift in allegiance, blood-deep, a sudden, humiliating, eyewatering conviction of this place is good, this person is safe, I can trust him, nobody will hurt me here.”
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m NOT going to use the ‘Winners never Quit… ‘ line but if you gave up on this, you might want to try again. The writing is elegant, the characters are stunning and the tale will stick with you. My daughter is in NYC this weekend and one of the plan events was a tour called ‘Strange and beautiful things’ and I thought how awesome is that? They were going to tour Chelsea and a folk museum, and go to the Strand… it sounded so lovely. Only 3 people signed up for it so it was canceled. Life sucks.
“That life - whatever else it is - is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch.”