This review was typed up way back, when White Pine 2012 was still going on at school. I didn't have the guts to post this because...well, I guess I didn't know how people would react to what I had to say. Now that this little blog has sustained a bit more time, I think I'll throw this bomb out the window now.
Warning: Long and personal, (possibly touchy) post ahead.
Vivi's 5th book read for White Pine this year. Now. This book. I am treading very, VERY carefully here, and first off, I will state that whatever I write in my review, I intended it as honest opinion not meant to offend anyone in any way.
Continued after the jump.
Title: Something Wicked
Author: Lesley Anne Cowan
Publication: 2010, Puffin Books
Summary: Melissa’s most recent troubles stem from a secret: her 28-year-old boyfriend, Michael, has just broken up with her. Melissa clings to the memories, riding a relentless wave of hope and disappointment. Meaningless sexual escapades, drunken nights, and drug-induced blackouts help her cope with heartbreak, but her pain goes much deeper than unrequited teenage love....read more
Review: This book stunned me. Like a slap across my face. I am not quite sure how I feel about it because my reaction of an aftershock following the reading of this book is a complete jumble of complicated emotions. Negative? Positive? I will say it has stunned and pained me quite negatively, but I will also say that it has led to a lot of reflecting done on my part. During the journey through this bluntly realistic read, I was torn between following this character and listening to my own morals and what I think life and society for young girls like Melissa (and me) should be like. In the "Review" section, I will try to review this book by what this book is, but I have a lot to say after that as well.
This documentary-like book is written in the most crude and blunt rendition of the character's life, personality, and feelings as possible. Melissa runs wild, a high school student having a relationship with a 28-year-old man, swinging by house parties and having sex casually, and running loose as her mother isn't near as responsible as what a parent should be. Her vocabulary is stained with a potent and overwhelmingly bottomless supply of swear words and I visibly winced at practically each and every one. (though I'm more sensitive to that than most people.) She also called herself "Echo" because to lock out the adults who try to "help" her, she has the habit of repeating what they say.
The use of first person brought me up close to Melissa to an uncomfortable extent. I will give points to Ms. Cowan, though, for painting such a shocking montage of another face of our society. Grinding through this book was like being grounded to stay by Melissa's side for a torturing period of time. Melissa, as a character, is actually decently created though, and at one point, I was starting to feel bad for her. I was hoping for her to get better, I really was. As the synopsis states, Melissa has to decide whether to keep fighting—or to let go. "or to let go." Excuse me? You mean to just let go and to keep going in life like how she was living it? Let go and just let herself fall so far down that by that point, no one could ever reach her anymore?
I don't know what else to say. This is one mess of a review, and I'm sorry!!! However, that's exactly how this book felt to me and how I felt after reading it. A mess. Not necessarily the "mess" that is categorized as bad, but just a jumble of uncoordinated elements that leaves you feeling completely lost and messed up.
Rating: ✰ 1 Depressed Hoot
Final Notes: I cannot seem to be able to focus on this book itself at all, mainly due to the fact that it addresses such harsh issues. However, it has brought a lot of thinking to my opinionated head about our world today. I will be truthful and say that this book exposed me to a side of society that I have never encountered so up close before, and therefore, it resulted in me being a bit...paralyzed, in a sense. It is a face that I am not at all familiar with. It is a face that we are educated to stay away from. It is a face that scares me.
Yet I have to acknowledge that it is there, and how important it is for us to help people like Melissa.
However, I'd like to take a moment and ask, is it really necessary to bring upon such exposure to this situation in such a blunt and imposing manner to the young people of our society? Is it really necessary to do this through the powerful way of the pen? I don't approve of this. I believe that high school students like us get enough exposure to this world through other outlets and agents of socialization.
The author has her freedom of exploring this topic as much as she wants, but I am absolutely 100% against this being in White Pine, making its way through mass production to go straight into the hands of today's high school students.(Spoiler at 3 o' clock) This book has no definite end. It offers no solid conclusion that says Melissa improves and finds herself. She doesn't. How is this encouraging people in reality who may end up like her? We should try to improve this world, and through this, it is not happening.
Of course, the author can write what she wants. But please, please, PLEASE! We should be choosing the audience more wisely. High school students get no correct sense of morals and strong and justified independent thinking out of this type of book.
Thank you for reading, if you have reached it this far. I will state once again that I do not mean to offend anyone in any way in this post. It is a mere state of my honest opinion, and it was not meant to put down the author personally regarding her writing in any way at all.
A Rebirth of Sorts (& a Goodbye)
1 year ago