Alex's Reviews > The Vast Fields of Ordinary

The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd
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's review
Jan 12, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, queer, fiction

My initial draw to this book (aside from the fact that it was queer lit), was the title and the cover, which should teach me to never judge a book...well you know how it goes.

This was very much angsty/emo teen lit. It feels along the lines of American Beauty and Cruel Intentions (though it's been a while since I saw the latter, so we'll stick with the former). It could probably be compared with Catcher in the Rye but with more sex (none of it graphic that I remember).

Life in the suburbs is kind of crappy, especially Iowa suburbs (or maybe small town?), according to our narrator. Life is unsatisfying, everyone is fake, and the best escape is drugs and drinking.

This type of book isn't really my cup of tea, probably because drugs and drinking never seemed like an escape to me, and that's possibly a realization our narrator has at the end, although I can't be sure. To me the balance is the narrator's new best friend who drinks but keeps her wits about her and is actually extremely helpful in furthering our narrator's maturity.

The ending was realistic and left me horribly unsatisfied, but that's a very personal opinion. I think others who treasure these moments of realism in their books will enjoy it.

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