[Catch-up review from Goodreads; I read this ages ago, and skimmed recently while culling books. Not a keeper.]

Bleak contemporary horror-satire about a poor shlub of a teenage boy who is slowly turning into a vampire.

There's some good writing and an excellent use of an unusual tone which I can only describe as Raymond Carver meets Joss Whedon. The world is intriguing. But the emotions are just realistic enough to make it excruciatingly depressing. In fact, it concludes with my least favorite depressing trope ever:

Not only does the protagonist fail in everything he attempts, he's mocked for his stupidity in believing the one person who offered him hope, who of course turns out to be a villain who delivers a "you suck monologue." He's then left to die a miserable, pointless death, with the suggestion that he will first succumb to vampiric madness and slaughter his entire family. The end!

M. T. Anderson is up there with Katherine Paterson for slit-your-wrists YA authors. Feed was even more depressing; it featured a variation on that same depressing trope ("You are a horrible person" rather than "you are a stupid failure") and also the human race was clearly doomed and deserved to be doomed.

marycontrary: (Default)

From: [personal profile] marycontrary

Ah ha! This is not the post-Zombie apocalypse Feed, it's another book. I liked the other Feed, though I could see several legitimate grounds to dislike it, utter hopelessness wasn't one.
starlady: a circular well of books (well of books)

From: [personal profile] starlady

His Octavian Nothing books are stunningly, fantastically good though. I didn't really care for Whales on Stilts.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)

From: [personal profile] oyceter

It seems weird that I think the Octavian Nothing books are less depressing than the ones you describe! Maybe it is the historical depressingness vs. gratuitous depressingness thing.

From: [identity profile] naomikritzer.livejournal.com

I actually loved Katherine Paterson as a teen but it was definitely "wallow in angst" reading. I think "Jacob Have I Loved" was the first book to really make me tear up (I was not a weeper over books as a kid: Charlotte's Web left me dry-eyed, for instance.) That one ended on a slightly hopeful, "the cycle of emotional abuse can be broken! it can!" note, though, which is WHY it was a tear-jerker for me. "Everyone dies miserably the end" doesn't make me cry, it just pisses me off.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

Anderson's books which I've read were basically, "Everyone dies miserably and you're a horrible person."

From: [identity profile] fadethecat.livejournal.com

Oh, man. Jacob Have I Loved was one of those books that kicked me right in the fairness nerves as a child. More rage than tears, for me, but aimed at characters rather than the author.

There was also the movie version! Which included on the back cover a list of helpful discussion questions for parents to have with their kids, one of which was a very leading question that was supposed to lead to the answer of "You should always respect your elders, even if they're unfair." Ah, rage-filled memories.

From: [identity profile] leahnari.livejournal.com

Clearly I should have read more YA :P

Oho Thirsty. I remember being really struck by this story when I read it in middle school. It was probably one of the first stories I came across to have such a grim twist.
I liked the world it set up and it put forward some interesting ideas, but what a downer ending. I think that last line will stick with me forever.
...Ahh, Nostalgia?
Edited Date: 2012-09-24 03:26 am (UTC)

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