Number 99: Wintergirls

Don't let the tagline at the top of the cover fool you...this is not a book about ice zombies.

Don’t let the tagline at the top of the cover fool you…this is not a book about ice zombies.

Wow did I hate this book.  This book made me want to never branch out again and just be fine with what I like and never look for anything new…ever.  I hated the writing (seemed weak and unimaginative and a little too on the nose), the metaphors (literally none of them stuck and some left me wondering what in the hell she could mean), the characters (I felt sorry for them sure, but I didn’t give a shit about them or their story), the content (melodramatic from start to finish and also the plot is will she eat today).  I understand this book wasn’t written for anything near my demographic but damn! It was so bleak and depressing and for all of that there was little to no redeeming qualities that would make me think this was a good book for a teen to read.  I guess if a teenager was suffering from poor self-image and struggling with eating that they may see something within these pages that I don’t, but there is little in the content that makes me believe someone suffering from something similar would want to change or even read something so depressing.

I guess it was easy to empathize with the protagonist because I felt her hunger, but it is a disease that I truly know nothing about and I cannot fathom how someone can starve their self to death.  As I read this book I imagined how John Green would have handled the material, and I’m confident he would have taken the same content, made the same points, but he would have done so with a touch of comedy and a touch of tragedy, with convincing and sympathetic characters.  oh, John Green…

I just think that  the content wasn’t for me so I just didn’t get what I was supposed to, and that’s fine, I get that there are books geared only toward certain niche audiences, but how do those books make it onto NPR’s top 100 list.  How is there a large enough following for this book to make it onto this list?  I imagined these would be books that transcended genders and generational gaps and would be stories that moved you no matter what your background was.  Maybe I came into this with the wrong idea, and maybe there really aren’t that many good books out there.

Sidebar: In reading these 100 books I hope to narrow down what it is exactly that I like to have in the books that I read.  (I’ve mentioned before that I really haven’t read that many books.)  I feel I haven’t read enough to truly know what I want, but I do this one thing…it is not this book or anything like it.

My goal of staying positive is all but slipping away…

Wife: An astounding no.

2 responses to “Number 99: Wintergirls”

  1. krull the warrior king says :

    Alright well you like fantasies right? Was this book based more in reality and human emotion? Maybe you don’t find the book depressing but the fact that this can exist in real life…as opposed to novels of fantasy.

    • brickvsthelist says :

      I don’t think that it was my interest in fantasy fiction that led to my disliking this book, but it is depressing that the material in the book does really happen to real people. The narrative was believable and unforgiving. The content disturbs me as well as the thought that teens are reading the book for entertainment. I don’t see how it is entertaining, and I try to be open minded (though I’m sure further reading of my blogs will disprove this statement).
      I guess you could be right, though not in the way your are thinking. Fantasy novels tend to take on real world problems in an abstract and hypothetical manner. So something such as anorexia would manifest in a different, magical narration instead of an in your face narration. It’s not that I dislike unforgiving narratives, I think that I appreciate the creativity more that is involved in creating a situation that can stand for something that happens in real life instead of just saying exactly what it is.

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