C.G. Drews's Reviews > The Smaller Evil

The Smaller Evil by Stephanie Kuehn
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I guess we can accurately summarise this book as a conglomeration of mind twistery. (Shhh that's an eloquent phrase from your local fun eloquent reviewer.) Like I did actually enjoy reading this! I loved the author's book Charm & Strange! It's probably one of my all time favourite books because it has unreliable characters and a deep sense of mind-twistery. I think The Smaller Evil followed that same pattern, but I just don't really get it...which is a shame.

The story is basically about Arman going to a cult/scam retreat. I'm still not sure what it was. Basically a bunch of rich people pay a ton of money to go to this mountain retreat and talk about philosophy and their feelings. They eat delicious food (#nice) and have confusing conversations. Arman gets "recruited" to come, basically, but this dude named Beau. But the WHOLE BOOK is just about Beau messing with his mind???? So I don't even really know WHY or what even was going on. It was literally the most confusing thing in the ever.

Like seriously. Why was Beau messing with Arman's BRAIN???? Why????

It's a very VERY unreliable book. Arman has ADHD and general anxiety disorder and takes medication for them. He hits his head a few times. He's got people playing mind games with him. He's blocking memories. He's taking painkillers from a "doctor" at this retreat that are probably not really just painkillers. THE KID IS SO SO SCREWED UP BY THE END I FEEL SO BAD FOR HIM. I liked Arman! He was weak and people bulldozed over him and used him...but I think a lot of his thoughts were a really accurate portrayal of anxiety. So ya for that.

It was captivating and intriguing and I couldn't stop reading. Arman was a precious damaged unreliable cinnamon roll and I secretly root for him to have a better life after this messed up novel. I think it was a good representation of anxiety too! And I do like books where it's all "is this REAL OR NOT REAL" and makes you, the reader, doubt and rethink everything. #nice
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Reading Progress

January 9, 2016 – Shelved
January 9, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
December 19, 2016 – Started Reading
December 19, 2016 –
page 106
41.41% "I have no idea what's going on and yet I can't stop reading??? #wizardry"
December 19, 2016 – Shelved as: contemporary
December 19, 2016 – Shelved as: mental-illness
December 19, 2016 – Shelved as: read-2016
December 19, 2016 – Shelved as: ya-male-narrators
December 19, 2016 – Shelved as: young-adult
December 19, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Samantha (WLABB) You are the 4th person I follow, who has reacted in this way. Great review as always.

message 2: by C.G. (new) - added it

C.G. Drews @Sam: omg good then I don't feel so silly for not really understanding it. xD I still think it's a good book though!

Samantha (WLABB) @Cait - my daughter said the same exact thing. =)

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