Oh man, you guys, I think this is my favorite book that we have read for this book club. There were just so many things to love about it: themes of inner vs outer beauty, male and female power, magical realism, beautiful prose, fabulous characters. Really, I could go on and on. Do you get the point that I loved Bone Gap?!
So here we go, diving into the November discussion. This is my second last audio discussion before the baby comes! Crazy pants. Hope you guys enjoy it. Remember to leave your comments below and check back to see what other readers thought!
themes of external vs internal beauty
all the men who think Roza owes them something because she is beautiful and get upset when she doesn’t want them
Finn’s prosopagnosia and how it relates to his relationship with Petey
Isn’t that what love is, seeing things that others can’t?
how Sean respects her wishes and that automatically puts him on a different level than the other men she has encountered before
all the ways in which people leave: Didi, Hugh, Petey’s dad, Roza
Finn and Sean’s relationship
the magical realism elements were limited but pretty seamless, except for the random horse riding through weird, magical worlds, which I thought was a bit strange
the beautiful, beautiful prose that created such a rich and wonderful atmosphere and setting
Happy Halloween! Let’s jump right into it, shall we? Without further ado, the October book discussion for The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. (It starts off a little awkward, like I’ve never done this before, haha.)
I think this one has the potential to be fairly divisive, and I am really interested to hear what you guys thought about it. Don’t forget to check the box that will send you an email when other people post here, so that we can respond to each other!
I was going to make you guys read another horror/supernatural thriller novel for October – tis the season – but then I was reminded that not everyone likes that stuff as much as I do, so I decided to keep those for myself and go a different route. (I do have some great seasonally appropriate recommendations, though, if you are interested!) We actually ended up with a four-way tie in this month’s poll; I recruited Bryan to be the tie-breaker. He chose The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, which I am quite excited about as it has been on my list (the one in my head) for ages. Admittedly, I was really excited about all the options, so it would have been impossible to disappoint me!
Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.
But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?
That summary doesn’t even begin to touch on the elements of gender politics that have seen the book compared to The Handmaid’s Tale (!!!) and that I am salivating to delve into. This should be another meaty read with lots to discuss, and I can’t wait to get into it! I hope you guys are excited, too. Happy reading. 🙂
PS. Find the rest of the Young Adulters Book Club posts here.
Hello, hello, and welcome to the September book discussion! For this edition, I brought in one of my very best friends and one of the most intelligent people I know, Alex Luterbach. Several notes:
The sound is, once again, not fantastic. I am still working on figuring out another way to record these conversations.
There are two (gasp!) swears, including an f-bomb. So be aware of that if you are listening at work or around children.
If you are interested in doing one of these book chats with me in the future, let me know!
When you leave a comment, make sure that you check the box to have a notification email sent to you when someone else comments on the post. That way, you can come back to the post to respond to other people’s thoughts. 🙂
Without further ado, our discussion about Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy.
Vote for October’s book selection here. I will announce the result Thursday morning.
Happy December 21! I hope everyone is having a great holiday season. Pull up a chair, wrap your mitts around a warm beverage, and let’s chat about our book. Also, make sure you click the link at the bottom of the post to vote for next month’s book club selection!
Third time’s the charm, I guess, because I really, really liked this book, you guys. I wish that all young adult books – scratch that, all books – dealt with depression and suicide in such a real way.
My thoughts to get the discussion going, but I seriously cannot wait to hear what you guys have to say:
Like I mentioned above, I appreciated the realness of Aysel’s depression. I recognized gigantic chunks of myself and my own depressive behavior in her thoughts and actions, and the ways in which her mental illness affected all of those around her. We may think that we don’t matter and that nobody cares about what we are going through and no one would understand, but we are wrong. When her sister, Georgia, says, “I just wish you weren’t so sad all the time,” I felt like I’d been punched in the gut. It is like Aysel says when Roman comes to her house: “Sometimes it takes watching someone else observe how you live to realize how you live.” Real talk, y’all. Real talk.
That being said, I was also frustrated by the fact that both Aysel and Roman had these huge, traumatic events that happened to them that were the impetus for their depression. While traumatic events such as a sibling dying or a parent being incarcerated can, of course, be precipitating factors in the development of mental illness, they don’t have to be, and I wish that Jasmine Warga had chosen to give a huge event like that to only one of them, so that we could also see that depression affects “normal” people, too, whose father never murdered anyone and who didn’t leave their sister to die in a bathtub, which is, honestly, much more often the case. But I did like the fact that Roman was popular and handsome and, from all appearances, not someone that Aysel expected to want to die. Depression doesn’t give a shit how many friends you have or if you are great at basketball.
I was, to be honest, a bit disappointed that their relationship took a romantic turn. I can’t say I didn’t see it coming, and I absolutely agree that love and acceptance are the best antidotes to the cruelty and isolation of the depressed mind, but it would have been so nice to see a friendship do the saving, instead of a romantic relationship.
It was interesting to see, as Aysel rediscovered her will to live, how she had to watch everything she said and did in order to keep it from Roman because she didn’t want to disappoint him, and she knew that he would be upset if he found out. He proved that on several occasions, with his emotional reactions to any tiny indication that she might be turning into “a flake.” He wanted to keep her depressed so that he wasn’t alone; he wanted to keep her depressed so that he still had someone who understood him. And Aysel wanted that, too, she just couldn’t stay that way. When he says to her, during their camping trip, “I can’t make you happy. We can’t let each other make each other happy,” he is really saying, ‘We need to cling to our sadness and shun any possibility of hope. Our sadness is what makes us who we are.’ Seeing his shift in perspective at the end was a little bit too much of an about-face for me, but I also felt like it didn’t really stretch credibility. Having found someone who loves him and accepts him for every dark piece of him, I truly believe that he may have had second thoughts about wanting to die. And his proclamation that living is going to be hard as hell? Bang on.
The use of physics as a through-line was really cool. I liked that Aysel was a science nerd, and physics was the perfect companion for all the death and depression going on. Alternate universes, string theory, the theory of relativity… Thematically appropriate, yes?
Now. NOW! To the comments, my pretties, so I can hear what you thought!
(Psst. Click here for the January book selection poll.)