karen's Reviews > The End of Everything

The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
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Jan 05, 2012

really liked it
Read from January 05 to 06, 2012


a moment alone, i would steal a peek in dusty's room, clogged with the cotton smell of baby powder and lip gloss and hands wet with hair spray. her bed was a big pink cake with faintly soiled flounces and her floor dappled with the tops of nail polish bottles, with plastic-backed brushes heavy with hair, with daisy-dappled underwear curled up like pipe cleaner, jeans inside out, the powdery socks still in them, folded-up notes from all her rabid boyfriends, shiny tampon wrappers caught in the edge of the bedspread, where it hit the mint green carpet. it seemed like dusty was forever cleaning the room, but even she herself could not stop the constant, effervescing explosions of girl.

megan abbott, will you marry me??

i am pretty sure this is her first non-neo-noir book, and it is just as good as queenpin, in a totally different way, and it is making me want to go and get all her other noir-type books and just read them in my jammies while eating honey-toast.

this book has the secrets of girlhood spilled all over it. the longing, the cusping, the shimmering liquid period between scab-picking and training bras.the hopeless infatuations and the puppy-dog electra posturings.

i'm not going to lie - she likes to pack her sentences, but to my tastes, that is perfect, as anyone who has ever read one of my book-reports must know.i love a good packed sentence, as long as it works, you know? it is not meandering the way that proust is, but she builds her sentences by slipping in nouns and adjectives in such frequently surprising ways, you will want to sit up and pay attention.

at its most reductive, it is a story about a girl who goes missing.

but it is so filled with nuance about the rite of passage of girls, it makes me nearly cringe with remembrances. the idolization of the older sister, the sex-as-gratitude, the just-coming-into focus view of the adult world with its rules and its secrets, the whispery nights of two girls mashed in the same sleeping bag, legs tangled together,wistfully whispering secrets, the yearning for everything to happen RIGHT NOW, the half-remembered incidents suddenly showing their true significance.and the easily shoved-aside lurking horrors.

it missed five stars only slightly. there was a dip, for me, at the 3/4 mark, where i just thought it got a little muddled and weighted down, but that is just a personal glitch in me, because then it rose like an amazing phoenix to deliver one last kick in the balls, and there was this amazingly perfect revelation with that click in the throat of the realization that sent my mind on waves of "oh my god - and that means - ohhhhhh, but....ahhhh"

i have not read lovely bones, but i assume that is a less-well-written read-alike. but i have read a million other books that are similar, people love to write books about girls going missing and all.

but this one is just gorgeous. so if you are going to read one book about girls gone missing and horrible stuff probably happening to them, it should be this one.
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Comments (showing 1-31 of 31) (31 new)

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message 1: by David (new)

David Do you read real books anymore?


karen this is a real book. if you are asking if it is YA, it is not. it is adult fiction. and i just finished a tom franklin book, also adult fiction. i am about to start boudinot's new book, also adult fiction. if you must know.


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Karen...if I remember correctly, I think I read in one of your other reviews, you wanted to marry the book. You seem to be spreading yourself a little thin with all you offers of marriage. And great review. :)


Lisa Great review! I loved this book. It was so surprising and beautiful.


message 5: by David (last edited Jan 08, 2012 01:24PM) (new)

David karen wrote: "this is a real book. if you are asking if it is YA, it is not. it is adult fiction. and i just finished a tom franklin book, also adult fiction. i am about to start boudinot's new book, also adult ..."

No, I mean real books.


karen Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalking wrote: "Karen...if I remember correctly, I think I read in one of your other reviews, you wanted to marry the book. You seem to be spreading yourself a little thin with all you offers of marriage. And grea..."

well, no one has taken me up on my offer yet...i am just making myself available to the first interested party...

what constitutes "real"?? i am open to suggestions...


message 7: by David (last edited Jan 08, 2012 03:58PM) (new)

David You know... the really real ones!

Like Finnegans Wake.


karen oh, no - i choose not to read that.

i may read some dickens soon, though - does that count?


message 9: by David (new)

David i may read some dickens soon, though - does that count?

Yes. But please get those fancy new hardcover Penguin editions.


karen but there are only three dickens ones, and i have read one already, and i am not interested in reading the christmas stories...

i was going to read our mutual friend


message 11: by David (last edited Jan 08, 2012 04:17PM) (new)

David Who? Greg published a book?


karen ha! no, but some other friend of ours may have...

Gods of the Jungle Planet


message 13: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Does this honey toast also have peanut butter on it?


karen sometimes. sometimes bananas - i am a wild and crazy woman...


message 15: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Hope you've recovered, Karen, from that, uh, kick in the balls....


message 16: by Eli (new) - added it

Eli karen wrote: "but there are only three dickens ones, and i have read one already, and i am not interested in reading the christmas stories...

i was going to read our mutual friend"

I absolutely love Our Mutual Friend. I'm like its Goodreads pimp. So read it and have a wild time with it and I will get a cut. :)
I think I need to read this book--that line "effervescence of girl" rocks my face off. I usually don't read "horrible things happen to girls" books because of triggers, but I'll try to get through it. The writing sounds brill.


karen she is really spectacular. i have read three? four?? of her books now. great stuff, all.


message 18: by Moira (last edited Aug 03, 2012 04:19PM) (new) - added it

Moira Russell karen wrote: "she is really spectacular. i have read three? four?? of her books now. great stuff, all."

She's amazing. I just started casually looking through this one, and got sucked right in.

And it's not YA at all (not in the way that The Lovely Bones - which I hated - basically was) (I don't mean YA is a bad genre, but I wouldn't give this book to a teenager). -- Did you see her new one? http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12...


message 19: by Moira (new) - added it

Moira Russell Elizabeth wrote: "I'll think about it. You're quite convincing. "

Yeah, if you're going to read one, better this than the Lovely Bones, which is so saccharine it'll rot your neurons. This is like noir, but in 1980s Midwestern suburbia. (Very weird to all of a sudden be reading about teenagers without cell phones and Twitter!)


karen yeah, i already read that one - i got an ARC a bunch of months ago and i gave it to greg, and then i got her to sign a new one for me at BEA!! i like this one better than dare me, but it is also very very good.


message 21: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Just reading that passage made my hands twitch for cleaning products.


karen hahahhaa.


message 23: by Robert (new)

Robert Judging by the passage, it seems as if Megan Abbot doesn't like to use Capital Letters?


karen oh, no, that is all me. that's my laziness. even when i am quoting. how lazy of me.


MaryJude Schmitz That is exactly how I felt reading this book. I felt that I was Lizzie, and I remember thinking and feeling the exact same things she talked about and seeing things exactly the way she saw them at first.


message 26: by mike Fitzpatrick (new)

mike Fitzpatrick great review


karen thanks!


message 28: by mike Fitzpatrick (new)

mike Fitzpatrick ur welcome


message 29: by mike Fitzpatrick (new)

mike Fitzpatrick hi Karen


message 30: by Ava (new) - added it

Ava Rindal The Lovely Bones is a less well written read alike? Perhaps you should read something before you make your comments. It's a better book and handily as well written.


karen okay!


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