ariel's Reviews > You Deserve Nothing

You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik
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's review
Apr 08, 12

Read in February, 2012

This book makes me worry about tenderness and the ways it can be, if not faked, then a kind of closed-loop gesture. That in providing someone tenderness, you are in fact quelling the questions you think they have before they have them, a kind of insurance policy that a person is satisfied, enacted out of fear more than love. The main characters are a young, cool teacher in an American high school in Paris and Marie, the best friend of one of his worst students. There is a lot in here about parents and some smart stuff on teenage girl sexuality - overall, the book doesn't ring wrong, per se, but it doesn't feel alright either -- that's why I needed to write about it. I forget how, but this guy has some relation to Alice Sebold of the Lovely Bones, and there are elements of dream and fantasy here, I wish there had been more because this is a book about what we don't know about ourselves, our desires, and other people. Especially when it comes to young women, there is a lot that we do not know, that society does not wish to know, and this book goes there, albeit in baby steps.
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