May 24, 2013

Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You by Joyce Carol Oates

Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You
Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You by Joyce Carol Oates
Series: N/A
Source: Traded for
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: August 21, 2012

It wasn't like she had not warned us.

It wasn't like she had not prepared us.

We'd known that something was wrong those last several months.

But then, Tink hasn't actually vanished. Tink is gone, and yet--she is here somewhere, even if we can't see her.

Tink? Are you--here?

Not going anywhere. No way.
You guys would screw up totally if I did.

Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You was one of the most frustratingly good books that I have read in a long time. It was frustrating because the language was weird-- a mish mash of italics, parentheses, and run-on sentences. It was good because I felt like I could relate to Nadia and Merissa, and maybe even Tink in my own way.

They are three very different girls with very different problems, but they all relate to each other, and they all knew each other. I say "knew" because Tink is dead, from suicide. But we get to know her too, as the book plays out-- she's always in the background.

The first half was all about Merissa, who's problem is that she's anorexic, and that she cuts herself. I can't relate to that, but I appreciate a character who has a problem and doesn't seem all fake and forced. In a weird way, I actually adored Merissa. It's clear from the very beginning that she has some serious problems, but it was nice to read through her eyes and to find out why she does it.

The second half moved onto Nadia, who I honestly didn't like as much. She was whiny and very easily led. Which is how she gets into trouble-- like Merissa, she's super worried about her weight, but she resorts to extreme dieting. I don't understand the urge to just not eat, but if they...sigh. Nadia's other problem would have to be that she's constantly seeking approval, and she get's a largely inappropriate crush on one of her male teachers-- needless to say, it doesn't turn out well.

This entire book could be summed up like that: it doesn't turn out well. I'm not sure that either of these girls had any real character growth, nor did they seem to resolve their problems-- life threatening problems, at that!
It was easy, Tink. You'd understand.
Like grasping a razor between your fingers firmly.
And bringing it down on your skin, and in, cutting.
And when the pain starts, not letting go. ~ Pg. 64, ARC

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