Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Kudos for a classic (not porn)



Well, I think it's pretty classic . . .

Anyway, A. Fortis at Readers' Rants has a great and thoughtful review of Barbara Shoup's Wish You Were Here. A highlight:


Wish You Were Here is a wrenching and very realistic story about a nice guy who ends up with a rather long playlist of life's problems suddenly dumped on him. Most people wouldn't cope too well, and Jax makes his share of mistakes, but ultimately this is a story of losing oneself in order to find oneself. It does not pull punches. And contrary to what it says on Amazon in terms of age recommendations (12 and up for PW; Grade 8 and up for SLJ), I'd probably say that 14 and up/Grade 9 and up is a bit more appropriate, considering the sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll.
There is a bit of sex in this book and it's entirely appropriate for the reviewer to point it out (and we "re-fucked" the text for our edition--tolerances have changed since it came out in hardcover), but I think more needs to be said. The main sex scene is a great example of certain kind of teen sex scene. Shoup doesn't hit you with a "message" about sex (which would be nauseating under any circumstances), but there's something undeniably off about what's happening in the scene on page 211 where Jackson and Stephanie, well, you know . . . I think John Green (who now lives in the same town as Barb Shoup, coincidentally) wrote a great version of such a scene in Looking For Alaska (you know the one), and he explicates it rather well about two minutes into this video from his vlog:





I love this vlog for lots of reasons.

3 comments:

Simone Elkeles said...

John Green is awesome! Just in case the readers of your blog didn't know. And he writes damn good books, too.

Kirstin Cronn-Mills said...

"Re-fucked" is a great word--and think of all the places it could apply. Useful!

seaheidi said...

Great post. The writing sample was perfect for the topic...