Tag Archives: Low Self Esteem

The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe

Synopsis: 3 young women meet in the typing pool at Fabian Publishing, 1952, hoping for love and finding that life has more to offer than they ever imagined. Review: I haven’t done much rereading since starting this blog, mostly thanks to the TBR tsunami that Bookmooch yielded out of a few boxes of discarded books my mom cleaned out of her house and sent to me. My reading life has been consumed by a tyranny of the new, but sometimes an old friend is just…

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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Synopsis: When Clay receives a box of cassette tapes recorded by a girl who recently committed suicide, he wonders why he was chosen as one of her thirteen reasons. Review: Compelling premise ultimately founders on muddled execution. Asher throws in at least four separate social problems as part of Hannah’s reasons for her suicide, and the construction ends up feeling far too contrived. This has the odd effect of making the story seem small, as though all of the suffering endured by the various characters…

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Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess

Synopsis: After a teenage girl’s abusive father is released early from prison, she fears that she will be victimized again. Review: I hold Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak to be the perfect YA “problem novel.” These novels take a teen in jeopardy facing off against a social issue, and show how the protagonist overcomes the situation. In the case of Speak, the protagonist has gone mute after calling the cops on a summer party, and can’t tell anybody what happened to her that night. Halse Anderson…

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Emotional Reads

I like to be moved by literature, which is why I don’t go crazy for metafiction or postmodernism or overly intellectual fiction (Don DeLillo, Thomas Pyncheon, etc.). Such was the book I read yesterday for work. Otter asks, What are the five books in your library (or memory) that stirred the greatest emotive reaction in you? What I mean is, what five (or more) books most brought you close to tears, laughter, anger, whatever? Share on Facebook

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The Keeper by Sarah Langan

Synopsis: In a rotting-down town in nowheresville Maine, a woman with a broken mind haunts the minds of the inhabitants, tormenting their dreams and leading them to make deadly choices. Review: I picked The Keeper up after reading about it on SciFi Wire, but I have to say I was disappointed. The writing is assured, and Langan demonstrates considerable ability in bringing the reader inside the characters’ heads. She’s also not afraid of going for the gore, and some of her imagery will be sticking…

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The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld

Synopsis: Snapshots in the life of a slightly depressed young woman with low self-esteem. Review: I loved Sittenfeld’s debut novel Prep, and had high expectations for this one. I was pretty disappointed. Hannah is passive and largely disinterested in life, and this just doesn’t make for a compelling main character, unless her passivity is what the story is about. But Sittenfeld doesn’t have a strong premise, nor has she engaged with some of the ideas that pepper the narrative. The book feels loose and disconnected,…

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