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Sideshow of Merit

2.31  ·  Rating details ·  16 ratings  ·  9 reviews
You couldn't call Mount Rosa Hospital a good place to be in 1957, when you were fourteen. But it's where Tevan George was, and James Rowley too, "convalescing" from tuberculosis. And it's where both boys were abused by an older boy--although neither of them did much talking about it, then or later. Shut up! That's what Tevan did. James too, but he never said much about any ...more
Paperback, 330 pages
Published September 16th 2013 by Namelos
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2.31  · 
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 ·  16 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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Miss Potato
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Okay listen the heck up ladies and gents. I am literally seeing all terrible reviews about this book and it makes me very very very angry. This is a fantastic book. Let me repeat that for you: THIS IS A FANTASTIC BOOK!!!!!!! The author is very very descriptive and does an amazing job of letting you know exactly how Tevan feels about every situation. No, the content is not really suitable for young audiences, most of the book contains language, rape, abuse, assault, and everything in between. It ...more
Jul 15, 2013 marked it as life-is-too-short
Shelves: netgalley
After reading about 2/3 of this, I finally have to give up.

Mainly what bothers me is the author's writing style. Pietsch treats her themes -- sexual abuse, autoeroticism, addiction -- with a strangely cagey avoidance, presumably to add an aura of mystery or maybe a feeling of gravitas. But in trying to cloak everything in mystery, she ends up with far too many vague and unsatisfying scenes that seem to lead nowhere. After a while, I just didn't care anymore.

And, as others readers have mentioned
Nov 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
I was really looking forward to reading this book. The Story sounded really interesting.
But sadly this was not something that I can say I really liked or enjoyed reading.
For me the book had it's good points when you looked hard enough. It was not terrible and I'm sure that author did put a lot of time into it. The best way to start off the review was is by saying that had i not been reviewing this I would have stopped reading it all together. However that being said I could not read a book th
Jul 04, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First things first, this definitely does not classify as "Teens & YA". There's much too much delicate topics for it to be considered YA.

It is 1957. Tevan and George are recovering from tuberculosis in Mount Rosa Hospital. Both are victims of abuse from another male, though it is often a taboo topic between the two companions. The duo escape from the hospital nearly four years later and eventually find their way to the Ten In One sideshow in Ontario, which is run by a mysterious man named Bud
Jul 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
You know that thing where an author interrupts the past tense narrative to say something like "little did I know how important that choice was" or something similar? It's supposed to pique the reader's interest, to make you want to know why that choice, which maybe otherwise might have just been logged as a thing that happened, was a Thing That Happened. It's a useful trope.

When used sparingly, that is.

I'm willing to overlook the random formatting problems (I got my copy of Sideshow of Merit fro
Sep 04, 2013 rated it did not like it
The two main characters, “pretty” Tevan George and James Rowley have been on the run for nine years after skipping out on the sanatorium Mount Rosa in Canada in 1961 for TB testing. Tuberculosis survivors, Tevan and James are emotional wrecks. What happened in Mount Rosa? What’s happening now? This story was confusing to me, often the author tries to use the technique of going back to the past to show what happened, but not in a coherent way. It wasn’t spaced out, like chapter breaks, to really ...more
Aug 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
I never do this...I hate doing this...but I didn't finish this book. I just couldn't. A book has never beaten me before, until now. I didn't like the characters. I found the narration extremely difficult to follow in places, and what could have been an interesting story just wasn't. It seemed like a thinly veiled attempt to write a new 'Of Mice and Men' with a more intelligent, savvy character controlling a less intelligent companion. I got no pleasure from reading this book at all. Maybe, I'll ...more
Jul 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: giving-up
I wasn't a fan of this book. I tried very very hard to get into it, but I found the narration hard to follow. I kept waiting for it to pick up and for me to attach myself to one of the characters, but it just didn't happen. I read a third of it. That was all. I also do not think this is a book for YAs. At all. Maybe for college aged YAs.
Sep 29, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-for-me
Nope. Absolutely not. Because I have a proclivity to finishing things, even if they are unpleasant, I stuck this out to the end and wished that I had saved my time. Veiled (and not so veiled) same-sex, abusive eroticism, with just enough ambiguity in the blurb to get you to check it out. Some touchy subjects can be written about and be classified as literature...this one mistakenly so.
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Since 1998, Nicole has assisted women and youth living with violence, including immigrant and refugee women and survivors of sexual violence. Most recently, she has worked with youth survivors of violence who are incarcerated, those living in an institutional setting, and Deaf youth.

Nicole has a particular interest in the ways in which social constructs of sex, gender, age and race inform Canadia