Gillian Flynn, a Feminist

**Shouldn’t contain spoilers and if there are, they are small**

For the last four days, I rushed through Sharp Objects and Dark Places unable to put either book down. Sharp Objects captured me with the twisted mother-daughter relationship and the ending that made this a psychological thriller. Dark Places did not capture my attention as well, but I still turned the pages in a rush to see how it was going to end. I read Gone Girl in June of 2013 (thanks Goodreads!) and gave it a four star, but it probably deserved five. After finishing Sharp Objects and before I read Dark Places, I started to wonder, is Gillian Flynn a feminist?

There are a few things that led me to ask this question. I wasn’t passionate about feminism when I read Gone Girl so the review I wrote on Goodreads had not a comment about it. Now,  I am. While reading Sharp Objects, the question of Flynn’s feminist stand started to nag at me. There’s this section where Camille has a conversation with Detective Richard. She asks if an eighth grade girl had sex with four high school guys, would that count as rape. He said hell, yes. The girl is underage, the boys are around fifteen (?) and she was obviously vulnerable. Most feminists would say that this is rape and would say the guys were only out for themselves and they probably were. Camille’s response makes readers take a double take. “And sometimes drunk women aren’t raped; they just make stupid choices– and to say we deserve special treatment when we’re drunk because we’re women, to say we need to be looked after, I find offensive.”

Now that’s a statement.

Time to unravel!

When I went to India, there was a conversation of the backlash of all of the protective measurements for women to stop rape. The backlash was reinforcing the idea that women need to be protected. This is like saying women can’t go out to parties by themselves or they might get raped. Unfortunately as much as I want to say that it isn’t true, it still is. I’ve heard multiple stories. We shouldn’t say ‘why didn’t she bring a friend?’ or ‘she shouldn’t have dressed up like a slut,’ but the problem remains. It sucks and puts women in a difficult situation. It also puts men in a difficult situation. We assume that men only want sex and unfortunately, most men reinforce this idea. I’m not saying that they’re all rapists or even capable of rape, it’s just that we see comments from guys talking about how their girlfriend doesn’t give them sex or they want sex. Okay. I’m going to keep that as a mostly truth though I know it’s not always true because it could be a social construction; either way it exists.

Now to look back at that quote. The boys she was with might not have been capable of rape, but could still be fine with being a guy she had sex with. This is where an argument comes up. If she was drunk and inhibitions gone and they were drunk and she was obviously able to be taken advantage of (considering her home life), does it count as rape? When can somebody make a decision? Of course, she was thirteen and legally, it was rape. What about socially? I agree with her quote. To a point. I’m not sure, but I believe I at least planned a post where I talked about some of the ways men debase women. One of the unintentional ways is “I would never hurt a woman, she needs to be protected.” Ouch. This is a problem and it should be addressed. Women do not need to be protected. We can see this in the characters Flynn creates. You can’t argue that they need protection; if anything the men need protection. Detective Richard is more horrified by everything Camille does than any of the women. Her step-father has no clue what’s going on and is being manipulated without even knowing. Her writing begins to prove that women do not need protection.

Unfortunately, Gillian Flynn’s ideas are progressive. This is good, but it also assumes a world exists that’s out of our reach currently. Right now, we’re trying to rework the relationship between men and women. We’re trying to see people as individuals without grouping them together with similar characteristics just because of their gender. We want women who can be seen as people and not objects and men who can be seen as more than just sex seeking. Gillian Flynn is moving past this teaching men that rape is never okay and women should be able to have sex for fun to the understanding that women do not need protection and can make decisions even when drunk; that protection is not needed. This is a theory that’s difficult to wrap our heads around in a society where we’re trying to reform the idea that when drunk, it counts as rape and victim blaming is not okay. Flynn presents a new argument that is both hopeful (women not needing protection) and harmful (potential victim blaming). It’s progressive but may be too progressive in our current situation.

Gone Girl presents a female character that is more obvious than the others (save for Camille’s mom). I can’t talk much about this book without spoiling it, but the characters are both hated in the book. I asked one of my friends if he liked the movie (still haven’t seen it) and he said yes, but that the woman was a bitch and he hated her. He never said anything about hating the husband who is equally as horrible just in a different way. The husband’s behavior is acceptable in current circles. While it’s bad, we can understand it. Her behavior on the other hand isn’t. She’s called a bitch because she’s manipulative. We don’t see that often and when we do, it’s her fault. He was the one affected and his behavior was a reaction. Her’s is never accepted. She’s seen as the instigator.

Of course, Flynn does not seem to be in agreement. She creates a woman who gets back at her husband with manipulation. A woman will lose in a fist fight (in most cases) but manipulation? That’s harder to fight. People hate her, but when we examine her behavior, it makes sense. What else was she to do? Of course, she is insane. That can’t be ignored. She never tried having a conversation with him, but instead took it to the next, next, next x10 level. She’s a psychopath, but an intelligent one who examines the social contract and uses it for her own purposes. It’s twisted, yes, but it’s difficult to call Flynn a misogynist when she portrays strong women in a progressive, not backwards, way.

Gillian Flynn has said that she is a feminist. She takes assumptions about women and flips them. In Sharp Objects, the detective says the killer has to be a man because women do not kill unless it’s for revenge or from jealousy. All of the perceived notions are switched on the readers, making the writing twist our familiarity to something that we can barely recognize. I do think Flynn is asking for a world that is more progressive and radical than we are at. I’ve heard women and men say that woman shouldn’t be protected when they’re drunk, but it’s with accusatory tones and filled with excuses for behavior that they know was wrong. This type of understanding she is asking for is with respect for the doer, knowing that it was a decision that one person made and it shouldn’t be forgiven when it was her choice.

Flynn is definitely an author that feminists should keep their eyes on and people who blame the woman or say ‘she was drunk; she wanted it’ have to watch or read with more knowledge than what they currently hold. I hope to read more from her in the upcoming years.

Can Reading be Harmful?

Reading is supposed to broaden the mind. Reading allows a person to put their feet in the characters shoes and hopefully, be able to do that in real life too. There are plenty of articles about the benefits of reading fiction or why you should date somebody who reads or the ability to empathize when readers start young. What about the harm of reading? Does it exist?

In two days, Fifty Shades of Grey, the movie will be released in theaters around the United States and I’m sure the movie will be a box office hit. Those who got through the book will be excited to see their imagination blossom on screen and those who didn’t read the book (but wanted to) will only have to set aside 125 minutes of their precious time and be visually assaulted without the need to read through Ana’s eyes and will also not have to cringe every time “oh my” is used. Unless they’re going to keep that too. We can hope not.

I’m not going to try to make this a complaint about Fifty Shades because for one there are so many other blogs and forums you can read about the complaints, and two I liked it my first read through. Despite the cringe-worthy prose and complete lack of reality (you don’t have an email address but you got a job out of college being an English major? Really.) I still liked it for the simple fact that it was escapism and took roughly three days to get through the entire series. I felt no more educated by the end of it, but I also didn’t feel horrified.

I also read a lot. I’m not going on about how great I am. I read some simple books but I try to add in books that truly open my understanding of myself or the world. When reading might become harmful is when it only includes the “escapist” books.

We have all heard the arguments about Fifty Shades. “He raped her!” “She signed a consent form!” and on and on and on. My opinion is more on the fact that the whole story is so unbelievable that we shouldn’t have this argument. She’s a 22 year old virgin who managed to get a job at a publishing company (not as a receptionist) right out of college with her English degree. This does not happen. Of course, being a virgin and obviously not able to use technology (why is this a thing?), I don’t think she had enough information to give informed consent, but either way, this book is realistic enough to take seriously.

And yet….

And yet, we worry about how people are taking books like this with simplified plots and paper-thin characters. Despite readers calling it out as horrible or simply, escapism, we worry that it’s affecting our communities. It is possible for reading to be harmful.

It is one thing to simply read for escapism, but the problem comes when people who don’t read often and desire somebody like Christian Grey and even worse, want to be like Anastasia Steele (how horrible are those last names?!). This sounds a lot like victim blaming, so let me explain.

I’m not a feminist who consistently thinks women should be abstained from taking responsibility for their actions. Trust me, I think Christian is manipulative and I don’t care that he has all of these childhood issues because he should have had some of those solved before pursuing a relationship with a girl as ‘vanilla’ as Ana. Yet, I still worry that Ana, along with Bella, might be seen as role model. Girls who do not inform themselves and rely on information from the guy who’s telling them what they should be doing, who only have knowledge in cooking for their boyfriends, who never learned how to stand on their own two feet, and who only show their ability to stand up for themselves to protect their fetuses. I don’t think this is role model material and most people know this. Most.

There are those who don’t and this is a simplified example of the problems reading can bring to those who don’t read widely. What about those who only read racist stories? What about those who are only allowed to read from a strict approved book list and even though Fifty Shades would most likely not be on there, what other books are being left out?

Obviously my title was an attention grabber. I don’t think reading can be harmful because I think reading is the best thing a person can do. It’s when people read narrowly and refuse to try other books. It’s when a person disregards others comments on the book and don’t see the problems that may stem from the literature. I always try to read the reviews of books after I read them to see what people are saying. I try to make myself (and usually don’t succeed) read scholarly articles on the books I have read to see what people believe is the affect of that book on readers and society.

What book has made you question yourself? What book makes you consider censorship?

Book, Books, and More Goals?

Easy Fix

Write a post about any topic you wish, but make sure it ends with “And all was right in the world.”

It’s 2015 and that means another personal reading challenge.

I read and I believe I read a lot considering what I do. In 2014, I read 82 books. I’m sure others read more than this especially considering five of those books were Angel graphic novels and a few others were children’s books. At the start of 2014, I re-read the Harry Potter series as I try to do almost once a year. I also read the Percy Jackson series, which has become my current favorite series right now (working on the Heroes of Olympus currently). I included Sex and the Citadel that I had to read for my Anthropology class. In Spring, I included some of the other books I had to read for classes (I cannot remember what ones those were anymore). Overall, I came to 81 books. I was in my last year of Undergrad and taking some challenging courses. I worked at the library and did not take a summer break. I also learned to crochet, so that meant an increase in Netflix watching and a decrease and personal reading. I tried to get through the Chronicles of Narnia and failed. Completed the Song of Fire and Ice. Finished off the Alice series and am very happy I can stop reading it. I read some amazing books as well: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, The Golem and the Jinni, House of Leaves, We Were Liars, and Written on the Body. All of which I would recommend. YA/Magical Realism, Historical/Magical Realism, Meta/Horror?, YA/Mystery, Women’s/Romance. All of those books were wonderful reads, but now a new year!

My goal for 2015 is set at 85 books. I didn’t make goal of 100 books last year, so I decided to set this one higher than my completed. I have a feeling I’ll read more considering I’m no longer in school 😦 and do not yet have a job. I have two reading challenges currently. My 85 books and one that was re-posted of Facebook a few times and currently lives on my Pinterest.

2015 Reading Challenge. I've pretty much done this on my own already, and I'm counting some things I've had to read in school because I loved most books..but it's a great idea!

So far I have: A book with more than 500 pages (A Discovery of Witches), A book you can finish in one day (Ghosting), A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit (Anansi Boys), A funny book (I Suck at Girls), A book with magic (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making), and that’s all right now.

That’s also all the books I’ve read so far except for The Lost Hero which could fit into one of the categories already chosen, but I  used one of the others for that category. I’m going to try not to double dip. I don’t think I’ll be able to get all of them out. A book set during Christmas would be a hard one for me to figure out. Does it mean a holiday book? Or does it just have  to have Christmas in it? A book with bad reviews? Ugh. Many of the books with good reviews I can’t stand. A book set in your hometown? I live in a tiny town. I’m going to have to find one set in Ithaca, the closest known town. My grandma did give me one Tess of the Storm Country. It may have to be a double/triple dipper because it fulfills a few categories that I’m not sure I want to fill: a classic romance, published 100 years ago, and is set in Ithaca, NY. YAY! She did give me one that’s hard to read because it’s a cheap version of an ebook since she said it’s hard to read on the Nook. It’s definitely harder to read in print (tiny print and horrible lack of white space). I might have to cheat. Sarah Dessen’s new novel comes out in May as well! So that’s exciting.

I like my challenges so I hope I’ll actually be able to complete this one (and maybe write more reviews?). For 2015, my goals are:
-Read at least 85 books
-Crochet some stuff and sell some stuff
-Find a job I love/Apply  to grad school/those type of goals
-Write and finish a rough draft of my Middle-grade novel

If I can manage to complete all of that, all will be right in the year 2016.

<a href="https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/easy-fix/">Easy Fix</a>

Books: The Reason for My Being

How do you pick what blogs or books to read? What’s the one thing that will get you to pick up a book or click on a link every single time?

Books are the things that make me happy, so I thought this post was worth responding too.

“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” This is one of those quotes that I don’t follow. Why? Because the cover is how the author is trying to capture your attention. It’s the first thing a reader sees and I think it’s extremely important to look at a cover. There are books out there that are good despite their cover, but mostly there are books out there that are awful despite their cover.

The title is also important. Titles grab my attention. I can look at a title (along with the book cover) to see if I’ll be interested. There’s not much more to the title, but I do see it as important.

I go to authors I’ve read before and liked and I avoid authors who’s books I didn’t like. Sarah Dessen is one of those Young Adult authors that I always read. I think she has excellent covers and titles. The story inside never disappoints me either. Sure, there are a few that I didn’t like as much as others, but I still wouldn’t say to no to them. On the other hand, I’ve read Susan Colasanti. I read Take Me There and loved it. I then read her next two books and hated them. I found her stories to be predictable and a bit too corny for my taste. Still, she has cute covers that tell a story on their own.

I read the inside cover or the back cover as well. Unfortunately, I’m in another awkward stage that I haven’t been in since I was 12. I’m between genres and age groups. Adult books don’t appeal to me because I can’t relate to the characters. Young Adult is starting to be too whiny and irritating for my tastes. I still loved Sarah Dessen’s last book and I read Sherilyn Kenyon’s newest book. I pick books at random and hope for a semi-complex plot. It doesn’t even have to be that complex, I’m just tired of knowing the ending right away especially when I can even know the specifics. I called the ending of The Moon and More, but I didn’t expect everything. That’s how books can still be appealing to me. The Soul Screamer Series by Rachel Vincent had plot twists I didn’t see happening at all and I bawled through most of the series. That’s a young adult romance that has all of the paranormal and love triangle stuff without being awful. Seriously, it’s great.

There are a number of genres I like and read a lot of. Within Young Adult: romance, paranormal, Dystopian, and Fantasy. Within adult: paranormal romance, realistic fiction (some form of tragedy usually involved), and on occasion, mystery. For adult the only author I return to is Sherilyn Kenyon. I haven’t found another author I’ve really enjoyed. Paranormal romance annoys me most of the time unless it’s Kenyon. My “realistic fiction” consists of books that my mom hands me and that I can deal with. Usually it crosses into the mystery section. I’m still not sure how I feel about mystery, but I loved the ending of Gone Girl and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series is one of my favorites.

So, I’m always up for suggestions if anybody has them.

And just to add, I’ll be putting up the book that I last read or am reading and what I generally thought or think about it.

Last book: Beautiful Darkness

How I felt about it: It was predictable. This has been happening more and more often, but I still knew generally what was going to happen. I dislike the way she always confirms what the reader already knows. The author will write something like

“‘Hey Hot Rod, why don’t you come over here?’ Ridley asked. ‘No thanks,’ he replied. Ridley bit her lip and looked down.”
That’s where she should stop. We know that Ridley obviously has a thing for him even if she doesn’t want to admit it. But then it goes on:

“Ridley was more upset than she let on. She kicked a rock looking sad at his lack of attention.”
Even worse, the narrator doesn’t even catch on. The author comes in and tells us what’s going on without the narrator letting us know he’s figured it out or just letting us think. It was exhausting to keep reading the story just because of that. Also, Liv comes in. She’s sweet and I loved her immediately. I was severely disappointed at the love triangle that appeared. I wanted Liv to be a good friend. Can’t anyone just have good opposite sex friends?! The series that pulled off the love triangle thing decently was The Soul Screamer Series. Seriously, read it.

Still, I’m a completion and will continue the story despite the problems occurring. Maybe, there will be a twist.

The Art of Reading

I strongly believe there is no need for drugs or alcohol if you have a good book. The feeling of finishing a book book is beyond any feeling you can get from a drug (as well as much better for your body). This feeling is not always a good feeling, I can say that. I don’t think there was a happy feeling when I finished Catching Fire, it was more of a conflicting feeling between suffering and happiness. When I finished 13 Reasons Why, I cried and hated Hannah, but there was a peace that settled around me just as it did to Clay. The end of Harry Potter was an even more confusing feeling. I was still bawling from happiness, sadness, and the end of my childhood. I was on a high at two in the morning and felt connected to everyone around me. It was a crazy feeling.

I need a good camera, so we can explore my actual reading situation. I am more of the sprawling out type.

So, what book put me into this mood? Well, I just finished Divergent. There are a number of book-to-movie premieres happening in the next two years and I want to be able to read the books before watching the movie. I read Beautiful Creatures right before Divergent and wasn’t confident n the way I felt about it, earning it three stars on Goodreads.

Meryl Streep

There’s a such thing as showing and not telling, Garcia.

I know Divergent is another Young Adult dystopian novel like so many that have been coming out, but I’m a sucker for those type of books. They pull me in and there’s usually some type of romance that helps lighten the spirit up and makes me giggle way too much. Unfortunately, it didn’t last because Divergent has one of the saddest endings for a book that’s a first of a series. There were so many deaths and it makes me worry about what’s to come. Two emotions I can easily feel if it’s being explained to me or am around people feeling the same: happiness and sadness. Happiness is easier for me to get from books and sadness is easier for me to pick up on when it comes to reality. Both are strong, much stronger than anger, bravery, and fear. When I read, I get sucked in. There’s nothing like it. I can remember reading the book for the first time and remember what I related it to. There’s always something that pops up that looks like my life and that’s how I know an author has achieved. 

So far, I haven’t gone on about my favorite books. I read predominately YA, but I also like to explore Children’s fantasy and have a few favorite adult authors. Harry Potter is my favorite and will always be. Always. I do like Sarah Dessen, John Green, and I’m a sucker for Dystopian. Sherrilyn Kenyon’s new book, Styx came out a few days ago and I’m off to pick up my copy tomorrow! (Yays all around) I took a Tolkien class and fell in love with The Lord of the Rings. I’ve always loved the movies, but the books captivated me as well. I love Judy Blume from her kids books to her adult books (though not all of them). The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and the rest of the series sends me into a craze when I read them where I decide I’m going to get a tattoo, become a lawyer, and explore my sexuality. I did end up looking into Women’s Studies because of this book. I will admit it. 

 

Reading is a love I will never destroy. I stopped reading in my Freshmen year due to stress over being at college and handling classes. I was bordering on depression where I sat around and watched movies most of the time. One weekend, I picked up a book I knew I would love and it all came back to me. Back in high school, I went through a bad break-up where I overreacted to everything. During Winter Break, I consoled myself by listening to my iPod at full blast and reading and rereading books like a maniac. It made everything better even if it annoyed my mom.

Except not really because my mom would have killed me.

I’m not sure if all of you like to read or if you claim you don’t have time for it. Reading is one of those things you can make time for. Stop watching tv, put down your game controller, decide to take a day inside, and for goodness sakes doesn’t the Internet ever get boring?! (I know, it’s easy to escape, but consider your options.)

I learn things from reading, pick up on new interests, and meet a ton of people just by having common reading tastes. I met a new friend over the summer just because we’re huge Potterheads. I’m not sure what this post was going to be about. I was just going to talk about my love for Divergent, but as they usually do, it went off on a tangent. I will post about my love for Harry Potter. It’s necessary. 

I figured out how to put gifs in posts! Yay! Trust me guys, this won’t get annoying.

Book Review- DON’T KISS YOUR TEACHER! OH GOD….

Image

In Instructions for A Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson, Jessa has just walked in on her boyfriend of two years tangled up with somebody else. She now has to go to Italy with him and “The Boob Job” on a Drama Club trip. On the plane, her best friend, Tyler, gives her envelopes from her other friend Carissa and in each envelope is a reason Sean is not worth her time and an instruction on how to get over him. She goes on the journey, with the envelopes, to become whole again.

I’m going to say it as straight as I can. I didn’t like the book. And since I didn’t like the book, I’m going to give spoilers, so you don’t have to waste your time reading it, so:

      ***SPOILER ALERT***

Now, if you don’t enjoy getting spoilers even if I don’t like the book, just let me know in the comment section. If there are enough people to make it worth it, I won’t do this again. Today, I will. It’s going to be my reaction to the different parts of the book, but it will still give away most of it.

I probably would have loved this book at the age of 15 and that is the age that it’s written for. I used to love the French Kiss series by Sarah Manning at 15 and now I find the main character to be whiny and incapable of solving a problem. So, if you’re fifteen, you might enjoy it. If you read Young Adult books and are in college or late high school, you might not.

My problem with the book was in the character and some of the plot points. Jessa had some sort of depth to her. She felt everything strongly and I could relate to that. I over-think things just as much. What I didn’t like about her was how much everybody else knew about their relationship. The whole drama club and the group that had joined them knew that she caught Sean kissing Natalie and now she was upset. They noticed that Sean was now with another girl (which is understandable) and knew that Jessa couldn’t handle it (which is not). She publicly announces everything. They all know about the letters Carissa left her and all know about the feelings she has for Sean. It became one of those “stop telling everybody about your life, nobody cares!” (kind of like blogging!). It became a little unbelievable.

Now, to the plot points. The main point is Jessa going through Carissa’s letters and dealing with letting Sean go. She goes ahead and kisses her teacher. Wait…what?! She kisses her teacher?! She then thinks the teacher may have returned the kiss?! THERE HAS TO BE A BIG ISSUE NOW!

There’s not.

She apologizes and tells the other teacher on the trip about it who says that he told her about it, so it’s fine. They go back to hanging out alone and bonding over the book.

Okay, I could see that this part is supposed to show how messed up Jessa really is, but it’s not something that can be pushed under the carpet that easily, especially considering Jessa told other students about it. I think that Culbertson could have ripped that part out. It was too cringe-worthy and didn’t keep the plot moving forward enough.

The two other side plots were also awkward. The first not being necessary at all. Jessa’s group has to merge with another group and the teacher there they refer to as Cruella. She’s downright rude and completely inappropriate. To a student who has some type of Spanish heritage, she asks “comprende” after asking for the butter. She tells two boys that their acting is crap and also says that the famous paintings their looking at depicts the people as fat and they’re all ugly. I’ve had awful teachers  before, but this is just inappropriate. She would have been fired at the school if she talked like this and she definitely should have been kicked out.

At one point, Jessa sees her crying after a student teases her and then, she sees her upset in a hallway for some reason and Jessa tells her what she thinks of her. You would assume that Cruella would have some type of moment with Jessa or at least do something, but instead she leaves near the end of the trip and that’s it.

Yes, that’s it. Nothing happens. She’s there one moment, throwing stuff and screaming at her husband and leaves because the trip isn’t what she wanted. Jessa has no reflection on her turning out to be like that or anything even as simple as that. She’s there and then she’s gone. Nothing else said. I have no clue what the point of that was, but if you do, please enlighten me.

The next point had to do with Giacomo, an attractive boy who just appeared. Come to find out, after talking to Jessa over dinner, he’s the tour guide’s son. He got kicked out of school because of “narrow minds”. When Jessa talks to his mother, she finds out he left school for some reason. There’s some type of issue between the two, obviously. Jessa walks in on them fighting and Giacomo shatters the frog the tour guide carries around with her for some reason. When Jessa is cleaning up the  mess, she finds a key that she gives to Giacomo later on. The key goes to a lock box that holds his passport. He wanted the passport to meet his BOYFRIEND in San Francisco. All of this led me to ask some questions
                                  1. Is this what his mother was upset about?
                                  2. Why did she carry around a key in a plastic frog?
                                  3. Why does Giacomo’s boyfriend live in San Francisco?
                                  4. What was the point of having this in the story?

I just felt that this part of the story had no point to it and could have been pulled out. It did nothing to the plot, but instead was added there. The most it did was show that the guy Jessa was kind of hitting on was gay, but she’s not upset about this at all. She’s like “okay! Good luck!” and I don’t think there was a point.

Dylan Thomas is the next character. He’s very obviously the love interest though it becomes uncertain later on in the book. He hangs out with Jessa and asks about the letters. Also, he listens to her complain about Sean. Later on, he disappears for a bit with another girl who has a boyfriend. It becomes really weird. It seems that Culbertson doesn’t want the reader to guess who she ends up with, but instead it left me feeling that Dylan was a jerk for hanging out with her and then moving onto another girl while Jessa hardly thought about it. Of course, it’s revealed that he does like her and wants to keep in touch at the very end. I felt that he became a rebound since Jessa didn’t have much thought about him throughout the story.

She does get over Sean and shows this by reading a poem about him to THE ENTIRE CLASS, but whatever. People work on their issues the way they want.

So, everything goes as what you would expect besides the things you wouldn’t expect, but kind of sit awkwardly. Even though I spoiled the plot for you, you can always give it a read and see how you feel. Enjoying the book is not a bad thing at all and I will not think less of you. Also, would you like me to start giving reviews each day of whatever chapters I’ve read that day? Sure, it’d be like stalking how much I read a day, but it could be more in depth with actual quotes and such. Up to you! Leave a comment.

 

Along For the Ride- Sarah Dessen

 

 

Image

My first book review for the blog that I made for book reviews! How exciting.

Sarah Dessen is not an up-and-coming female author nor is this her earliest book, but it’s one of my favorites by her and I wanted a beach read. This is my blog, so I do what I want!

Short summary: Auden goes to visit her father before college. She’s focused on school, the daughter of an English professor and a writer, and has insomnia because of the arguments they used to have when she was still in High School. Now her father has re-married and has a newborn, but is too busy on the book he’s writing to pay much attention to either Auden or Thisbe. Enter, Eli, handsome and scarred. Auden and Eli begin getting to know each other in the late, late hours and Auden starts to figure out what she missed as a child.

There’s a lot more to it than that, but with all of the side plots, the description would take forever. Sarah Dessen has an easy map to follow for most of her books. The heroine has a problem with her family and some aspect of her social life. She meets a guy who also has some dark secret. They hang out, but something goes wrong. In the space of time during the wrongness, the heroine tries to reclaim the life she led before all of these changes. She realizes she made a huge mistake and figures out all of her family/social problems and then meets up with the guy. 

This plot line is true for most of her books, not all, but I love it anyway.

Looking at the character as a female and putting it up to whatever feminism I believe in, I must say, I think Dessen accurately describes the conclusions people jump to through Auden. I read a post called “I’m Wearing a Dress, Therefore I Must Be Stupid” and the author writes about how girly-girls are potrayed. I must say, I agree with what she was saying, but she does bring this book up. Maggie is always wearing pink and knows a lot about fashion. Auden is completely surprised when she knows so much about finances. I don’t think this is a fall out of Dessen’s. I believe it represents what many people think and showing that there can be an alternative to being a girly-girl and filled with hot air, is a good thing. 

Auden and her mom are very focused on the representation of women. Auden learns how to balance this. She still hates pink, but she learns that chatting with the girls doesn’t immediately lead you to being uneducated. All of this, I find very important. I’ve seen many girls act stupid because they think it’s funny. The characters in this book don’t act stupid. They act like real people. It’s my favorite thing about reading a Dessen book. The characters are almost real (although they do say things that nobody says in real life and react in a way I feel that wouldn’t happen, but maybe I just like to yell a lot). 

So for those who are just curious on how the book is, it’s been out for 4 years, it’s an excellent book and possibly my favorite. It reminds me the most like The Truth About Forever which had been my original favorite. There are also those parts where your stomach flips, a crazy smile appears on your face, and you clench your toes due embarassment/that-first-almost-kiss/the-actual-kiss/and of course the happy ending.