Ryandake's Reviews > Green

Green by Jay Lake
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's review
Oct 05, 2011

it was ok
Read in October, 2011

ever finish a book, put it down, and think, whew, i'm so glad i'm done with that?

you know it's bad when you've read to the last 30 pages and you're feeling like a plowhorse heading to the barn.

it's not a terrible book--not the kind that makes you throw it against a wall--but it has some really nasty sentences. like:

"They went both one way and the other."

sentences like this drive me nuts. why not "They went both ways" or less succinctly "They went one way and another"?

and, admittedly, my attention wandered, but why does Lake bring up characters as if we'd met them before, when we had not? why write about the poor protagonist aching after having been stretched out upon a rack and whipped, when no such mention of it occurred previously? some serious continuity failures in this book.

not to mention, the first 100 or so pages of the book deal with our young protag's harsh education, and we are told repeatedly that she gets beaten, beaten, beaten. that if she does something, she'll get beaten. if she doesn't, she'll get beaten. this poor child is beaten so often in the first 100 pages that you feel like calling Child Welfare Services on the book itself, and having it hauled off to jail.

by the time she finally stops getting beaten, the reader feels pretty numb to all that beating.

i'm not entirely sure why i kept reading this book. admittedly the only bookstore within 45 miles of my home recently closed, that may have something to do with it. sometimes the book offers some hope of turning interesting, but then grabs for the nearest cliche to hand. men come off appallingly in this book--not a one who doesn't end up deserving the knifing, bludgeoning, stabbing, gouging, eyeball removal, or neck-snapping she applies to them with fierce evenhanded fists of justice.

i'm giving it two stars because something in there held my interest long enough to finish it. but just barely. there's a sequel coming up of course which i shall not be reading at all.
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