Friday, October 30, 2015

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse - Sex & Violence

Welcome to another edition of the Cephalopod Coffeehouse. The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts and our books with other enthusiastic readers. Please join us:
http://armchairsquid.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-cephalopod-coffeehouse-october-2015.html





I've actually read two whole books this month and one of them was this:





Sex & Violence is the story of Evan, a high school junior who has never had a problem hooking up with the opposite sex - until the day he does. After an assault leaves him wounded in both body and soul, his hitherto absent father brings him 'home' to a family cottage on a lake in Minnesota to heal. The question is, can he?

I liked this book and would give it a solid 3.5 stars. But I did not love this book as I hoped *sigh*

What I did like about the book: solid writing, absolutely no editing issues or anything of that nature. Interesting characters who all had their own distinct personalities, especially Evan who begins the story as a rather jaded 17 year old. For him, it's all about finding a girl who will say yes. After the attack, jaded Evan becomes scared to death Evan and his reactions felt very true to life to me. I especially liked the letters he wrote, which felt like the most honest part of the story.

What I didn't like: Although I sympathized with Evan, I was not entirely compelled by the question of whether or not he would make it through this ordeal. The stakes didn't feel high enough, even though technically they were. Either Evan changes and is a stronger better person or...not.

What I wanted to know more about: the trial and Colleen. I won't say more about either of those (spoiler) but I really wanted more on those two fronts. By the same token, it wasn't necessary for me, the reader, to know more about the trial or Colleen so I am not picking fault on that count.

Bottom line: you would probably like this book if you like YA with flawed characters.

27 comments:

  1. Young adult books really aren't my thing, so will probably pass. If the character doesn't grow and change, then that's not much of a character arc.

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    1. Oh, he does change so there was definitely a character arc. I just wasn't as compelled by it as I would have liked.

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  2. I think when we really like the premise we come in with high(er) expectations. It's more dissatisfying when the story doesn't completely deliver. As you say, it wasn't bad (at all), just wasn't great like you hoped it would be.

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  3. I felt the same way about this book. I liked it, but I didn't love it.

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  4. If you like it but don't love it, then I probably won't bother with it. Thanks for the review.

    Love,
    Janie

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  5. Hmmm.... Now, I'm curious. I can't decide if Evan was the attacker, or the attacked. I'm not sure I can find a (potential) rapist sympathetic. On the flip side, I haven't read many books where a boy was attacked and suffers PTSD. So, that intrigues me. I"ll probably look this one up.

    Thanks for sharing!
    V:)

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    1. Evan was assaulted. I don't know if I could find a rapist sympathetic either.

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  6. Interesting. Doesn't sound like my cup of tea, but if I happen to come across it I might check it out.

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  7. I always like flawed characters. Perhaps because I am one, and don't know anyone who isn't.
    It is always sad when a book you hoped to love slips into the 'like' category though.

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    1. Evan was definitely flawed. And yes, I always want to love the book the book I'm reading.

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  8. Sounds interesting. I am interested in what you say about the stakes. It's one thing to say the stakes are high, quite another to convince the reader.

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    1. well in a way the stakes were high. I mean, if Even didn't change, then he'd go back to being who he was and that didn't work out so well the first time. The problem was I didn't feel as invested in the outcome as I wanted to be.

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    2. Right, that's what I mean. It's not enough to say the stakes are high or even to set up the scenario. There's still work to do if you want the reader to care.

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  9. Well, I don't know about the story, but the title's a catchy one, isn't it? ;)

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  10. Tension and stakes are important to me too. I guess everyone has their preferences. Thanks for the review and have a Happy Halloween! :)

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  11. Interesting review but I am not sure about the story and who is Colleen and what trial ?
    Catchy title.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Colleen was a character in the story I wanted to know about and the trial was something mentioned but which never occurred.

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    2. Just headed back to check out your pumpkin posts.
      Way to much fun.

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  12. I'd say high stakes are typically what get me to the end of a story. Sounds interesting, but it might be a slow read for me if I don't care how it ends.

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