I read this a few years ago now and I remember being underwhelmed. Could easily have just been me though. You know what they say: a critic can only reI read this a few years ago now and I remember being underwhelmed. Could easily have just been me though. You know what they say: a critic can only review the book which he has read, not the one which the author wrote....more
My first Sarah Dessen! She has a really beautiful voice. I wish I didn't know that Caitlin's story happens again and again all over the world. Her expMy first Sarah Dessen! She has a really beautiful voice. I wish I didn't know that Caitlin's story happens again and again all over the world. Her experience is tragic and I hate how easy it is for me to relate and find evidence of Rogersons in the people around me. This book is brilliant, and it scared me more than any horror novel ever has. Pick it up, read it, and - most importantly, I think - encourage the guys around you to read it. It really has an impact....more
This book saves lives. You would think we've progressed enough as a society that anorexia would be recognized as a disease, but I still hear people saThis book saves lives. You would think we've progressed enough as a society that anorexia would be recognized as a disease, but I still hear people saying things like, "Anorexics are stupid," or making other, equally ignorant statements. Laurie Halse Anderson has drawn back the curtain for those who don't understand eating disorders, and given those who are struggling with anorexia and bulimia a safe haven to explore their own motivations. I know first hand that Wintergirls saved a young woman's life, and I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to pick up this novel....more
The research in this book is fantastic. But the author's claims that she is writing without regard to political views is bull, and her points definiteThe research in this book is fantastic. But the author's claims that she is writing without regard to political views is bull, and her points definitely would have had more impact if she had managed to keep that irksome thread out of the narrative (is that the term you use for nonfic?). It was like eating pasta that could theoretically be appreciated by every pasta-eater in the world, except there was this frequent twinge of too much olive oil that detracted from the chef's credibility as a well-versed cook. If that made any sense at all. Long story short, in a book that could have risen above politics, and been utterly bipartisan and compelling, the author shot herself in the foot with occasional anti-gay overtones (there were implications of lesbian flirting being "perverse"), and an ending that made me want to disregard all the valid points she'd made in the preceding 200 or so pages.
I agreed with a lot of the observations Dr. Grossman made regarding the emotional repercussions of casual sex, abortion, being fed misleading information, etc., but only because I was able to keep myself from getting angry. If I'd been in a slightly worse mood I would have ditched this read, which is sad because I do think it's valuable, and I think I'm better for having read it.
Ultimately I recommend the book. Just take it with a grain of salt. Or a spoonful of sugar....more
The moment I knew Spellbound had me hooked was when the main character, Emma, compared the smell of a perfume to "a unicorn fart". Later on, the sameThe moment I knew Spellbound had me hooked was when the main character, Emma, compared the smell of a perfume to "a unicorn fart". Later on, the same perfume was described as "munchkin sweat". These are clear indications of brilliance.
(FYI - THERE WILL BE MILD SPOILERS AHEAD.)
First let's talk about Emma. What I loved about her was that she's been through a hell of a lot, but she's not your typical world-weary protagonist. She definitely wants a better life, she wants a chance to start over. She hasn't given up. I adored her defensive cynicism, because it fit perfectly with what she's lived through. I loved that she would go to school without doing her hair and makeup (that's what I always did because nobody can look good that early in the morning anyway), and I loved that her habits on that front didn't really change after she got involved with Brendan. Emma has a "this is what I am, this is as good as it's gonna get" approach to her appearance, which is refreshing.
Brendan is a delicious bad boy with uber respect for women. I'm not going to talk too much about him because you guys should get to discover him on your own as you read. But I heart him (and so does my friend who started reading the book before I'd even finished it).
The ending of Spellbound was riveting. (This is where things get a bit spoilery.) As a young woman, I found Anthony to be a terrifying character. The way that Emma refers to him as "the monster" is so accurate in terms of how many women are forced to look at the world. If I see a group of guys on the sidewalk, I cross the street so I don't have to risk passing by them. I don't walk to my car by myself. I don't go to public bathrooms by myself because public bathrooms are a high risk place for women to be assaulted. And Anthony embodies every little thought and experience that urges me to make those decisions regarding my safety. I would venture to say that Spellbound is a good read for young women, but especially for young men - it's so important for guys to understand the ways in which women are forced to view the world differently from them. And Spellbound illustrates this perfectly.
All in all, this is a great read. Either for tanning by the pool or for intellectual discussion. There are layers to it and it can be enjoyed on myriad levels.