Jaemi's Reviews > Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron
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Jan 11, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: ya-fiction
Read in December, 2007

James Sveck is not happy. And that's really the least of his worries. After realizing he felt separate, alone as in not a part of this species, life took a bad turn for James. 

It all came to a head with the whole America Classroom debacle. He doesn't like to think about it. He doesn't want to talk about it. And so for weeks he plays avoidance games, silence games, power games---pretty much any and every game---with his therapist.

His parents are worried. His sister is worried. James is just annoyed.

He doesn't have much use for people, especially those his own age. Which makes college an extremely daunting proposition. He can't see any point. He doesn't want to be in that kind of environment, considers it an appalling waste of money, and would really rather just skip it and learn from books. To him, the idea is brilliant. To his parents, not so much.

And then there's the whole sexuality debate. Suddenly, both of his parents become keenly curious as to his interests. As if knowing he were gay would suddenly answer all questions, solve something, allow them to help him. As if it were so simple.

And he's alienated one of his only friends. John, who works at his mother's gallery, and is one of the few people James feels he can talk to, liked to surf the web at the front desk, and wasn't so good with covering his tracks. After stumbling upon John's profile on a dating site, James creates John's ideal mate. Anyone else would have realized, more than likely, what a bad idea this was, but to James it was just fun. A joke. Not to be taken seriously. To John, when James shows up in place of his date at a party, it's nearly unspeakable. And it leaves James out of a job; fired by his own mother.

His college, or lack thereof, plans are falling to pieces, no one seems to understand him, everyone is hounding him, and now James has only Nanette (his Grandmother) to turn to. Luckily, Nanette is very good with both listening and advice. And she's right about John coming around. The very next day James gets his job back. And faced with a pleading mother and sister, he even picks up the phone to speak to his future roommate, unsure what else to do.

There might just be hope after all.
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