Posts Tagged ‘Gibson’

Finally, a review to post up!  I have been struggling to finish How to Buy a Love of Reading in between all the moving and work I’ve been doing.  Yes, CF formation has begun leaving little time for much of anything outside of training (imagine constant meetings covering everything from teen bonding to crisis management).  I’ve been slowly learning how to enjoy and savor the experience – I’m sure that I will probably never participate in anything quite like it ever again.

In the midst of all this training, which at times can be brutal (three hour training about protocol concerning the student code of conduct, ick!), Gibson’s book was actually quite a treat.  I found myself excited to be able to run up to my room and read a chapter or two in my short half hour breaks.  Granted, I found it difficult to stay up late reading it (my eyes inevitably wound up closing after only a few pages).  The book was enjoyable.

However, it was jam packed.  389 very dense pages filled with numerous characters with numerous problems.  I had to take notes in the beginning to keep up with it all!  Still, the important players are pretty unforgettable.  Carley Well is our main protagonist.  Born to parents Gretchen and Francis, she lives in Fox Glen (think Gossip Girl’s upper east side).  Carley is overweight and an outsider except for her remarkably unbelievable with hottie Hunter Cay.  Their unusual friendship spawns mostly out of Hunter’s inadequacies.  Despite his pretty boy exterior, Hunter is a very troubled teen.  Not only is he chronically ill, he is also a serious alcoholic with a developing vicodin addiction.

Needless to say, Carly is unmotivated by much of anything.  Her mother is overly critical of her weight and her inability to fit in with other kids at her school.  Carley lives in two worlds: the world where she doesn’t know what to say and her world of aftermemory where she knows the right words for every situation.  Her father notices her plight after a disturbing English survey where her answers openly display her lack of motivation: “Carley was disappearing, letting insubstantial people chip of pieces of herself” (5).  So Francis decides to commission a writer to write a book with Carley for her sweet sixteen.

Enter Bree McEnroy author of the very misunderstood novel Scylla, a metafiction nightmare featuring Odysseus getting lost in the world of the internet.  Bree is dirt poor and in order to write her next project she needs the money the Wells are offering for their strange commission.  Bree does not fit into the strange upper crust society established in Fox Glen.  However, she sees an unexpected and mysterious man from her past, “Rock Star” Justin Leighton, Hunter’s estranged neighbor who lived a life of seclusion after getting shot by one of his fans.

Sound confusing?  It is.  But once you start understanding the main plot lines (Hunter and Carlye, Bree and Justin), things start to make sense and the story becomes a page turner.  Gibson’s writing style is lovely and I found myself easily getting lost in her words.

“There are people who understand life the first time through.  They grasp what someone’s saying when it’s said.  Read stories into gestures and expressions.  Draw out moments, slow down time.  Shape what happens as it happens, sculptors of their lives” (14).

The book was no exactly what I expected from it’s title, but it was a treat in the end.  The ending was surprisingly satisfying and heartbreaking.  Gibson takes on so many topics in this book though that it’s easy to get lost.  She constantly shifts perspective and there are so many characters that I found myself getting confused occasionally.  Still, this is a wonderful read.  I wish I could have devoted more time to reading it sooner so that I didn’t have to read it in small spurts – maybe being able to read it all at once would have made it easier for me to follow along.  However, schedules sometimes get in the way – I’m sure we all know that.  I look forward to reading more books by Gibson in the future, her writing style really is beautiful.

“For once everything she meant had just come pouring out.  For just a moment she could understand why you’d get hooked on words if they did what you wanted.  It was a head rush better than getting drunk or high.  It was like driving” (285).

Overall Rating: B-


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