Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Patterns of Paper Monsters by Emma Rathbone

In January, I tend to read adult fiction and nonfiction, and I spent a few minutes rearranging my to-read/to donate/to give away/to keep shelves. One book that looked accessible was--at right around 200 pages--The Patterns of Paper Monsters by Emma Rathbone.

This is a pretty depressing book. Jacob is in juvie, which is like bad high school--only worse, because you can't leave, have less privacy than normal, are surrounded by (other) criminals, and so on. He earned his way there when he committed a robbery and assault, though vandalism and drugs might have sent him to the inside soon enough.

Jacob reminded me of Holden Caulfield--strike one, because I always want to punch him in the...elbow. Strike two: when I went to look up his name, all I saw were reviews about how funny the book was, meaning, obviously, that I didn't get it. I think this is fine, actually; it happens about twice a year that I just don't get something considered wildly funny by critics everywhere.

I point this out, I suppose, because we seem to be at a low point in the cycle of "no bad reviews," which often boils down to "no negative opinions," even though negative reviews seem to increase sales for most books. I'd rather feast on a variety of books and opinions than starve on the fear of engaging honestly with media.

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