Book Report!

Here’s what I have to say about some books I just read.

Yeahhh, you should just read it. I mean, I can’t really SAY much about it because it would be like …saying something about the encyclopedia. What is there to say? It’s a bunch of interesting facts. It basically puts what we think of as “common sense” on trial. Dispels a lot of things. Teaches you not to believe things at face value (we should all know this by now, but we always need reminders).

I read the first few pages, set it down, and never had an interest in picking it up ever again. I think it was a mixture of this being the first book I read on my new Kindle and maybe I just wasn’t comfortable with e-reading yet, and the fact that the two main characters aren’t very likable. But I tried it again in a few weeks, slogged through a few chapters, and then read the last half of it between midnight and 4 am one night. It is a murder mystery, after all. All in all, it was an interesting look at a relationship dynamic that I would never have imagined, and in which I certainly would never want to take part.

It kept me interested the whole time, but it was also slightly depressing. This book is narrated by a 16 year-old boy, so in addition to the less than cerebral inner monologue, I became a little too familiar with the depths of his self-centeredness. I realize that teenagers are kind of notorious for their self-centeredness (I know this isn’t a word, but it is the exact word that I want, so I’m using it), but when I was a teenager, I was at least AWARE of other people’s emotions and needs. I may not have had the capacity (or desire?) to behave in accordance with them, but I was nearly constantly thinking about them. But this kid, he’s practically a sociopath in his complete disregard for others. And this is not to say that this character is meant to be a bad person. He actually behaves very dutifully, and is generally regarded as a “good kid.” But, see, I’ve heard all of his inner thoughts, and he does what he’s supposed to do out of a sense of duty, not out of genuine concern for others. Are many people like this? I certainly hope not. It scares me. I guess I should have anticipated this from Nick Hornby.

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