ugh. i slogged through this simply because i'm almost physically unable to give up on a book once i start, and i kept thinking, "it has to get betterugh. i slogged through this simply because i'm almost physically unable to give up on a book once i start, and i kept thinking, "it has to get better than this. seriously."
unfortunately, no. the main character is annoying as hell, her best friend is a carbon copy of every other new york-based YA/chicklit socialite, and there isn't even any real interesting growth going on. not to mention, my guilty pleasures are those name-dropping chicklit books, and this only really referenced shopping at barney's with your mom's amex, which really, is so passe these days. the romance is lackluster, the way the character sometimes thinks in stage directions and scenes was possibly meant to be clever, but is just plain annoying.
on a quest to devour as much YA lit as possible before going into the classroom on monday - however i don't think this is going to be a book that my son a quest to devour as much YA lit as possible before going into the classroom on monday - however i don't think this is going to be a book that my seventh graders are going to relate to. at all.
that said, this was my first introduction to jessica darling, which is maybe why i liked it more than most. (i now have the first two to read for comparison purposes.) it's snarky and witty and close to picture-perfect when talking about the privileged life of a collegiate kid on the east coast. no matter what crappy town you come from, you go to school in new york city which makes up for everything.
i loved the sister interactions, i loved the observations of marin growing. i liked the columbia stuff, though i wish there were more, but i think my favorite scene, hands down, was her breakdown teaching wanna-be harvard kids. so. classic.
it was quick and snappy. i was torn between a three and a four, but decided to be generous today. ...more
it shows how little i know about early american history that i can't even figure out if the stuff she's writing about is true or made up or even possiit shows how little i know about early american history that i can't even figure out if the stuff she's writing about is true or made up or even possible. however, it does make me want to pick up a biography of oliver wendell holmes sr.
the mystery really unravels in the 1800s, in a series of flashback type things, that the present day jane and henry are discovering letters about.
i loved the fact that eliza pushed to have women in medical school, and meggie became the first woman to do it - if you read, you'll see why that's such a lovely twist. but, i was kind of bored and only reading because i only have it for a week from the library. i expect more, tess! definitely wait for the paperback. but in terms of "wasting your time", this isn't really a waste, and it's kind of interesting - it's more i think that i wasn't expecting a historical fiction trashy thriller.
now i'm going to start at the beginning of the maura and jane series . . . ...more
a little discomforting at times, the amount of self-hatred for the author's body unnerved me a little. i desperately wanted a happy ending for her. ita little discomforting at times, the amount of self-hatred for the author's body unnerved me a little. i desperately wanted a happy ending for her. it was strangely difficult for me to read, perhaps because of the sheer honesty factor, and i couldn't really find a purpose to it. ...more
i found myself laughing aloud at parts in the beginning, mostly because i could see my sister totally agreeing with everything she wrote. in fact, i read parts it aloud to her on the subway, and she totally agreed.
what i loved about the book was that she was clear that her thinking was twisted. she does seem to place blame on her parents at some points, but more than most books i read on this topic, she takes personal responsibility for the way weight became an obsession with her, and her issues with self-control and self-esteem. i have it listed under "eating disorders", because a) i know that later she does become bulimic, but also because b) i think that she qualifies for binge-eating disorder, or ED NOS at most. i don't want to pathologize all people who are obese with a psychiatric diagnosis, but i do think that klein qualifies because her eating is so clearly tied to her emotions, and that she does have an issue with numbers that still affect her daily life.
it could be very sad, but the humor she uses makes you not pity her, or laugh at her, but empathize with her, and yearn for her to be happy. it's really excellent, and gave me a lot of insight into how different people relate to food, body image, and how we have effects on children that we don't even realize. (this is where i say i like people like jean kilbourne and organizations like "about face".)
i highly recommend it. i think my sister would REALLY love the book, because she could relate to the passages about loving food, and the tastes, and the way you dream about foods. i have a terrible palate, so i really can't relate. but. i wished i could enjoy food that way. ...more
this would have been a much better book if she had waited until she was a better writer to write it.
which is unfortunate, because a lot of the ideasthis would have been a much better book if she had waited until she was a better writer to write it.
which is unfortunate, because a lot of the ideas and the things she was saying were really actually quite interesting and refreshing, but it's so bare bones and so . . . choppy, that it's hard to get a narrative out.
i especially wanted an epilogue, or something. but no.
it's the story of a girl who gets sent to one of those "tough love" camps, and does really well. i do think the book does a good job of saying WHY those camps work for some kids, and it really portrayed the camp and all the staff (by the end) in a positive way, which i liked.
what i didn't like was the interspersing of her narrative with notes from her file. often times the file notes had NOTHING to do with either what you just read or what you were about to read. i don't know if it was supposed to create the awareness of an untrustworthy narrator, but that seemed odd, given that this was a memoir she was writing. there were apparently over 500 pages of notes - i want to know why she chose the ones she did, why she put them where they went. it would make sense if they went by day, but like i said, they don't match up to what she writes, so i got really confused. maybe it's just me.
not bad, not great, quick read, and actually insightful into what a tough love camp looks like. ...more
hmmm. weird book. i mean, i get it, in that it sought to let teens give voice to their own lives/struggles. the problem, i felt, was that there wasn'thmmm. weird book. i mean, i get it, in that it sought to let teens give voice to their own lives/struggles. the problem, i felt, was that there wasn't enough really there. the pieces of poetry worked better than the prose, for that reason, but i read through this so fast and really didn't learn anything new. i can't decide whether or not i think it was detrimental to have the seventeen year old author write intros to each piece - i think i would have preferred an older, more objective voice. or a more understanding of the issues voice.
however, i am reading this much later in my life. i can't say that i wouldn't have loved this when i read Reviving Ophelia for the first time. so. i don't know. i would probably give this to girls i was treating in the very early stages of our work together, if they were having problems with the idea that they are not alone in their struggle.
(i actually kind of hate that phrase, because the truth is, we all experience things differently. you can never know truly how i feel. even if two people share a diagnosis, that doesn't mean much. but it's true that i felt better once i realized that people survive with the things i was dealing with - though honestly, Prozac Nation almost killed me.) ...more
it was hard for me to get through this book, mostly because of the writing style. it was difficult for me to understand where her "reality shifted" anit was hard for me to get through this book, mostly because of the writing style. it was difficult for me to understand where her "reality shifted" and what was real, her jumps back and forth to her time with the "cult" were confusing. i never really knew where she was, or why she was reacting the way she did. i still don't know what she means when she says her "reality shifted", i still don't fully understand what happened to her. in a way, i don't think she did/does either.
i was slightly annoyed with how she never really took agency herself, but this tends to be common with people who characterize themselves as victims, so. (that was kind of mean of me, but.)
there is one scene where she is clipping away at her skin with toenail clippers and it was the first time i've been actually disturbed at the image that the words created. i don't know why, exactly. also, the mormon fundamentalism seemed too easy to ascribe for everything - why would she fall into with viktor, etc? especially when she doesn't like therapists?
i still don't know if she went into therapy, if she tried her meds. she says she was diagnosed with everything from PTSD and BPD to schizophrenia, and well, frankly, i think there is more than PTSD at work here. her disassociative states are not just because of the PTSD - they really do seem to be part of her personality. but. that's me splitting hairs.
it was okay, but not great. it was hard to follow, as well. the writing was strange in terms of the way things jumped around - like i said, the narrative was hard to follow.
interesting, but nothing essential in any of the categories i tried to classify this book as. ...more
keep forgetting i finished this one too. the writing was so paltry that i couldn't get into it - couldn't care about her or anyone else. this is of cokeep forgetting i finished this one too. the writing was so paltry that i couldn't get into it - couldn't care about her or anyone else. this is of course, super hard for me to deal with, but really. i am glad there are more memoirs about self-injury out there, but can we please get some with quality writing out there??...more
my youngest sister got this for me for christmas. i admit it took me a while to pick it up, mostly because the premise seemed so ridiculous.
but thenmy youngest sister got this for me for christmas. i admit it took me a while to pick it up, mostly because the premise seemed so ridiculous.
but then i read it. and i fell in love: with carmen's temper, and lena's hidden feelings, and EFFIE, and BEE's misdirected passion, and tibby's cynical nature crossed with bailey's infinite wisdom and brian at the dragon master video machine.
i love the septembers. i adore their friendship, and their letters, and the way they are there for each other, and the cheesy rituals. something about me understands them, so intensely - maybe because i have three sisters myself? but. i love this book, and i love these girls. ...more
i think i liked this best, so far, of marueen johnson, though i can't quite put my finger on why. i love the relationship of the sisters, and while ii think i liked this best, so far, of marueen johnson, though i can't quite put my finger on why. i love the relationship of the sisters, and while i wish the focus wasn't so much on may, i therefore loved whenever the others came in. poor brooks, i really wish she had her own story. and i think i want to be palmer. palmer is my hero.
maybe there was a bit of projective identification going on as well - two of my sisters play softball (one with complete passion, one more just because) and i'm the one with the book and the grades. so it's interesting that i liked the others better than may, though that does say something not surprising about me.
also, the scene at camden yards is just so amazingly pitch-perfect, i think i'll forever love this book just because of that. and that isn't even adding all the stuff with the RV . . . the second half of the book was stronger than the first. and it's a more subtle finding-yourself story than something like 13 little blue envelopes, but i think that's because of the structure, and also because all three sisters are finding themselves at the same time, in the absence of such a strong personality.
if you look at this book, you would never think that i would like it. heck, i was shocked i even started to read it before just taking it back (the joif you look at this book, you would never think that i would like it. heck, i was shocked i even started to read it before just taking it back (the joys of buying books before seeing them) simply because there is a weird use of white space in the book, crazy little drawings, and the font is large and child-handwriting-like. (also, it bears the dubious category placement of "self-improvement".)
but, with one minor exception, gosh darn it, i kind of agree with the whole damn thing. and it's presented in such a way that makes it really really accessible - for people that know about sitting meditation/mindfulness/buddhism/etc. and those that have no clue. which is good - because the message is something that should be shouted loud and clear over and over again.
(my slight contention with the book is that quality therapy does allow you to get beyond the self-hatred - you don't necessarily need a spiritual element in the sense that you need sitting meditation and buddha to arrive at a more peaceful place. i didn't like how she just dismissed therapy, when so much of therapy is about reducing self-hatred. (her definition is quite inclusive, so it's basically everything you would ever go to therapy for.) but the beginning, when she's talking about the perfection circles - that's brilliant.)
i kind of want someone to somehow combine this with thich naht hahn's Anger and make the best and most logical self-help book ever. ...more
i don't think i could have read this when it first came out, even if it was three years after 9/11. there is something about Art Spiegelman's work thi don't think i could have read this when it first came out, even if it was three years after 9/11. there is something about Art Spiegelman's work that is profoundly affecting, in ways that i can relate to.
he lives in lower manhattan, and witnessed the attacks first hand. his black-on-black work ran as the cover of the new yorker days after the attacks. he talks about his struggle to understand the crisis, to understand and have faith in his country - especially when the decision to go to war happens (the "irakind" is one of my favorite panels - it's a bug with saddam hussein's head).
he is not afraid of showing his cynicism and his fear, and i very much appreciate that. i see so much of my own story in these giant pages, and then at the end, he reflect on the history of comix. i hid in movie theaters, he hid behind old cartoons. and what's amazing is how many of the comix at the turn of the century are relevant today - and also, how sept. 11, 1901 was a pretty terrible year for the world also (mckinley shot and not getting better, the pope still recovering from being shot, emma goldman arrested) and the fact that we still move on.
but what i think was most moving was when he said he finally understood why so many jews didn't flee germany after kristallnacht. a place becomes your home in ways you don't fully understand, and new york will always be something to me that i can't fully describe or pin-point, even if i leave. it's become part of me, like the memories of the falling towers and the bright blue sky and the panic and the smell. and i really, really appreciate the fact that this strange book will stand as a reminder for me; that in fact, i was so not alone in my slow failure to return to normal.
and the art - the art is incredible. reminiscent of Maus in parts, other times he borrows other comix characters. it's just stunning as a historical piece, as a memory piece, as a work of art, as a testament to our city, and as a statement about america and politics and the people that make up our country. ...more
[update 11/14: picked up from the library, starting again. need some good nonfiction.)
good god, this is eye-opening. i love it. love love love. please[update 11/14: picked up from the library, starting again. need some good nonfiction.)
good god, this is eye-opening. i love it. love love love. please don't fail me now, harry, i am invested in you and your story. don't start telling the tale from the perspective of carrie buck's fallopian tube, or anything.
also, why is there not more out there about mental health law? mental health rights? this whole law basically says women don't have reproductive rights - the state has control over them - why is this not brought up with abortion law??
(i can only read this book in short spurts, because i get too passionate about it. it's kind of hilarious. and totally genius.)
i don't have enough energy to read this right now, but dear lord, i will definitely be picking it up again....more
if i could make one book mandatory for everyone who is somehow connected to SPED (special education), i think this would be it.
it warmed my sad heartif i could make one book mandatory for everyone who is somehow connected to SPED (special education), i think this would be it.
it warmed my sad heart. guess what, people?? medication is not a death sentence!! it is not saying, "YOU ARE A CRAZY ASS FUCK!!" it's just that people's brain chemistry is different, and changes, especially in response to huge environmental events, and so.
the book is broken down by diagnoses, and then meds you probably will encounter if you work with them - what they do, what they should do, what to expect if they get messed with.
if i wasn't so tired i would go on and on - seriously. if you have a question about psychopharmacology and treatment, this is an excellent, excellent book. (it also assumes that the client/student is in therapy, which i appreciate. no crazy meds without talk therapy, dammit!)...more