Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Map of the Known World, Lisa Ann Sandell

I don't know where to begin with this one. I was super excited to read it; I even dragged (drug? that sounds very wrong) Gnorah to 3 bookstores in 1 one evening to buy a copy when it came out. I love the cover but I have to say all the pictures online show the outlines of street grids but its not actually on my copy which is weirdly irritating but irrelevant to my thoughts on the book.

I remember my children's literature professor in college making fun of YA books with female leads who spout the oh so wise and deep pseudo thoughts of their thirty something authoresses. This is one of those books. I kept wanting to like it and remembering all the reviews I read that went on and on about the beautiful, lyrical language but I just didn't see that in this book. I kept thinking it was just a slow starter and that it would get better. But I was really struggling to keep reading. I knew I had given up when I read this quote:

"We are led through this world by our breath. There can be no going back. Breath fans out, little beads of life, dissipates and vanishes. And there can be no going back." (p.176)
I am not buying that from a 14 year old girl in mourning for her dead brother and sorting out feelings for dead brother's best friend. I started making a game of it as I trudged through to the last page (after my efforts to get this book I wasn't going to not finish it) dog earing page after page of painful quotes. When I read stuff like the above I feel like I'm hearing someone shout "Notice how deep my thoughts are and admire me!"

I know (I read enough of the reviews) that lots of people loved this book, thought it was deep, and beautiful but I'm not part of that group. I probably feel a lot stronger about this book than I would had I not just read some Laurie Halse Andersen- no one can compare with her in my opinion.

Blog Template by