It's always hard to rate and review books like this, where girls are raped and illusions are brought tumbling down and the reader is left not knowing what to think. However, I can't say much against books that evoke that kind of emotion.
Chris Lynch's book had a strange tempo to it, switching from one point to another when the reader isn't quite sure what's going on. I think it's a long book to end with just that last chapter bit, but it all starts crashing down when we start to realize that Keir isn't entirely honest with the reader or with himself in the last few chapters.
Early in the book, if we're paying attention, we can see where he is in denial about him being so great. However, there's not a really good way to predict the situation with Fran and Mary. I liked the sisters, and I could see them as believable characters. Ray, however, I'm not so sure about. In hindsight, his affection for his deceased wife is not so much sweet but weird. There is a difference between remembering the past and obsessing, but I feel really bad about saying that. I think having finished this book less than five minutes ago adds to my confusion in analysis.
As I review these books, though, I start to sound like an echo of myself when I say things like, "Anything goes in adolescent lit," but it's true. Every book I read, I am more fully certain that adolescent literature authors can write about basically anything under the sun, mainly dealing with right-of-passage, sex, and relationships. Chris Lynch teaches a valuable lesson about what is real and what is not real, a sort of related factor to the false hope we've been discussing this semester. Keir feels false hope in that his sisters really like him and want him to be around, but the false hope is so skewed that he doesn't even realize how unfounded it is. Books that take a hundred and sixty-some pages to tell a small story usually can be cut a lot, but the length gives enough time to build Keir's illusion, enough time to make us wonder, and then enough time to make us want to see the cell where Keir ends up. Lynch's book is one that sticks with its readers, particularly if they have known people in these situations or where false hope applies. This is where a play-by-play might not be in tandem with a reader, but different aspects, different situations, will stick out and yank at our own experiences and hearts.
Finally, though, I wish I could have heard Mary and Fran as they discussed Keir and found out what sort of people they really are. From my viewpoint, they still should have gone for graduation, no matter how immature they thought their brother was. But then again, that's me, always choosing family even if it may be wiser to stay away. I'm also left wondering how this experience will change Keir. I imagine him weeping or staring vacantly in a jail cell, or somewhere where he cannot ever see Gigi again, and feeling empty. He is feeling that nothing he ever believed in is true, that mountain we slide down when a few things turn up false. I feel a sense of pity, but still I turn from the cell and walk away.