Tag Archives: Book

The Virgin Suicides

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The Virgin SuicidesThe Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wrote this review when I first finished the book back in December. I just couldn’t share it then. It was fresh and,frankly, it hurt. Since I last looked at this review, even more students in my area have taken their own lives. I don’t think that I’ll accomplish anything through sharing this review, but I do think it represents my role in the collective grieving process of a city crying for its children. Or something less pretentious. I don’t know. Anyways…

Have you ever finished a book, and then just sat there silently, overwhelmed by what you read? This book had that effect on me.

Let me preface this review by saying that this is not an easy book to read. It’s not some candy-coated adolescent take on suicide. The only other book that I compare with it is Looking for Alaska by John Green. Both deal with the deaths of beautiful girls at their own hands, the inability to come to terms with the events leading up to the tragedy, and the boys who idolized them, to summarize in a sentence.

Both are painfully and poignantly painted portraits of what it feels like to be a teenager. As a teen myself, it’s easy to see my friends and classmates in these books. And it makes it more powerful that there was a string of suicides within the last year of good-looking, talented, popular high-schoolers, some of whom were my friends. One was my friend’s older sister.

What drives a person to kill themselves? This book won’t tell you. There is no answer. Instead this book is about those left behind, about the group of boys who loved the Lisbon girls from afar and how they can’t seem to get the deaths out of their minds.

Like I’ve said, this book is raw. There’s drinking, sex, drug usage, and more. This is what teenage culture looks like. It isn’t pretty, but it’s real. If it were a movie I’d rate it as PG-13 at least. (actually there is a movie, an I enjoyed it but for different reasons)

Read this book for your daughters, your granddaughters, your friends, yourself. Read it if the audacity of hope ever seemed to be too good to true.

“It didn’t matter in the end how old they had been, or that they were girls, but only that we had loved them, and that they hadn’t heard us calling, still do not hear us, up here in the tree house with our thinning hair and soft bellies, calling them out of those rooms where they went to be alone for all time, alone in suicide, which is deeper than death, and where we will never find the pieces to put them back together.

Hi! So, briefly…

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This is a random jumble of things that interest me right now. It’s not a 10 Things I Like post, but it’s like the cousin of one. Basically, these are things I can’t get out of my head.

1. I have to see this movie. My favorite Youtube/blogger movie reviewer recently posted her thoughts about it, and though they weren’t glowing, they were good enough  to increase my desire to see The Art of Getting By. Here’s the review  for those of you who are interested.  She also posted a video with some thoughts:

2. I’m not sure how I feel about this: Parts were funny, but…yeah, it was a little flat. So many wasted opportunities! This could have been hilarious!

3.  I really, really want to read Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino. These student films from DePaul University’s School of Cinema & Interactive Media in Chicago are awesome! Their goal  was to make a book trailer that would “inspire viewers to find out more”. Here are my favorites.

This one is so whimsical:

I wish this one had been developed a little bit more:

This one best captured that sense of wonder:

There were others, but these three were my favorites.

4. The fact someone cared enough about my favorite formula to tattoo it on their arm along with Pacman. Seriously.

(Yes, it’s nerdy to have a favorite formula, but in all honesty, the quadratic formula was the best part of algebra for me.)

5. Gosh! You just need to go on YouTube and type in “Straight No Chaser”. Do it! Don’t ask questions, just go! They blow my mind.

That is it! I have a bunch of posts in the works. I just have to smooth out some issues.  See you oon!