Monday, February 28, 2011

Abducted by David and Rachel

Originally the plan, upon the completion of Dash and Lily's Book of Dares was to read a solo book by David Levithan, a solo book by Rachel Cohn and then finish off the week by reading the 2nd book that they wrote together, Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List. However, this just simply did not happen. I read David Levithan's Boy Meets Boy and enjoyed it just fine, then I read You Know Where To Find Me by Rachel Cohn...let's just say my reaction wasn't pretty.

I'm going to save my honest and thoughtful review on Rachel Cohn's novel for goodreads. I'd hate to bore my blog readers with it. I simply found this novel to be unsettling. So much so that I couldn't bring myself to read Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List. I had such a bad taste in my mouth towards Cohn upon finishing YKWTFM that I feared it would taint my enjoyment of Naomi and Ely, so I will put that book off for now.

I was also going to include my review of all these books in one post but as I started to write this out, I'm noticing it is getting kind of long. So I'm going to save Dash and Lily and write that one on Wednesday or Thursday. Below, you will find my brief explanation for You Know Where To Find Me followed by my review for Boy Meets Boy.

All I will say about YKWTFM is that it is a book about a young girl, not yet 18, named Miles. Miles has a close relationship with her cousin, Laura, and is sent on a downward spiral after Laura commits suicide. Although the actual writing of the book is not completely lacking of skill. The character development is amateurish leaving the main character hard to relate to and frankly unlikable. Add that with the constant drug use and lectures on D.C. politics and you have a book that is boring as much as it is infuriating.

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan was far more enjoyable in comparison. There really wasn't much to the story in Boy Meets Boy, the title pretty much sums it up. Boy meets boy, boy looses boy, boy must go through a period of self-awareness and self-discovery in order to get boy back. The magic of this book does not come from the plot but from the landscape. The town that our main character, Paul, lives in is idealistic. A place where all citizens are welcomed and accepted. All forms of self-expression are not only allowed but encouraged. Levithan does a wonderful job of showing that even in a society where people are simply accepted for who they are, loving someone is still hard.

The town itself it made up by a wonderfully colorful group of supporting characters. My favorites in the town were the guy who runs the video store, refusing to stock anything but VHS and who chooses to organize the movies based on his own preference and offers no assistance to customers looking for something specific. I also loved the "I Scream Parlor", which is the ice cream parlor that shows scary movies while you wait for your dessert. I hate scary movies, but that idea is adorable!

The thing I liked best about how Levithan presented this town, was that he did not choose to makes this book about a complete world. It wasn't like everyone across the country, every big city and small town, accepted people for who they were. It was just this one town. But the people of this town did not go every day feeling like they were the ones moving forward, instead they just saw it as the rest of the world was moving backwards. They weren't the ones being revolutionary, they were just being who they were, everyone else, for reasons unknown, is just living in denial.

Every now and then the reader is given a glimpse of the rest of the world through Paul's best friend Tony. Tony lives with the knowledge that his family and his friends at school (a different school then the one Paul attends) do not support who he is. And the hope that resonates at the end of the story is not found with the main character Paul, but with the strength and courage displayed in Tony.

In conclusion, David Levithan and I will carry on, I look forward to reading more from him in the future, Will Grayson Will Grayson in-particular. However, I feel it is time for Rachel Cohn and I to go our separate ways. I will read Naomi and Ely (because I already bought it) but other then that...I mean Rachel what can I say...It's not you, it's me...I'm going through a selfish phase right now where I need more "me" time, and I would rather spend my "me" time with books I far as remaining friends...well, i just don't think that is best...for either of us.


Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

I have heard that there's a lot of politics in YKNTFM. I agree that it's best to part ways with Rachel... but I can't help feeling that your ability to move on from Rachel isn't somewhat helped out by your sudden new relationship with Netflix. I'm proud that you were able to quit a book, because God knows I have stayed with an abusive book to the bitter end way too many times. Go, Bittner, go!

Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase said...

Hahaha! I enjoyed your bit about breaking up with Rachel Cohn. And I agree with Kate - Netflix will help console you in this time of need. (At least, that's what I think she was saying.) ;)
I knew I wanted to read Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and I knew it was co-authored by John Green, but I had no idea that the other author was David Levithan! I haven't read any of either of their books, but I'm quite excited to read WG, WG now because of your reviews!

Claire said...

I agree about Boy Meets Boy, but it sounds like you wrote Rachel Cohn off way too fast. Wasn't this the *only* solo book of hers you've read? If so, why not start with a more popular one, like Gingerbread? You say you like good characters and Cyd is one of the best. I would never write an author off so fast, especially one with so many other books out there.

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

Claire, it sounds like you're a fan of Cohn, which is great, and maybe there are other books by Cohn that would be a more enjoyable read for Bittner. But with all the other books clamoring to be read, all the other millions of authors whom she hasn't tried yet, does it really matter if she's done reading books by Cohn? There's no reason to be offended that she doesn't like Cohn's writing style. Bittner dislikes one of my favorite authors, Martin Millar, but I've made piece with that... it's not like I wrote the books myself. And if a Cohn book gets enough buzz and positive reviews I'm sure that my friend would reconsider, but until then life is too short to read books we don't like.

*Bittner- feel free to delete this post!* XD

Bittner said...

What is funny is I'm actually a HUGE Gene Kelly fan, so I was tempted to read Gingerbread because the main character is named after Cyd Charisse (who was in It's Always Fair Weather, Singing In The Rain, and Brigadoon all with Gene Kelly). In the end I chose You Know Where To Find Me because the plot was something I thought I would be able to relate to. I've dealt with depression before so that is why YKWTFM jumped out at me.
But in the end I really REALLY hated that book. And anything I try to read by her right now is just going to be tainted with leftover frustration.
Maybe, someday, since Gingerbread isn't very long and it does have a character named after Cyd Charisse, maybe I'll read it...but I'm not making any promises.
And I do agree with Kate, there are so many other great books out there...why spend more time trying to force myself to like any one author?

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