Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Screwed by Laurie Plissner
NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I think this is the first book I've ever read that lacks a stable POV. As in, the narrator gets in the head of everybody, even miniature characters who only have a line or two to share. I know, I know, this looks like a huge mess, but despite everything it actually works quite well. Perhaps because every single character is given time to express their inner thoughts and observations, and we're actually allowed to witness how the cogs in their minds work. To tell you the truth, it was weird at first, but once I got used to it, I saw the advantage - you get to know what everyone's really thinking, and that's just brilliant!
So, onto the story and characters we shall move. "Screwed" told the story of a very smart girl, Grace, who turned into goo in the hands of the school playboy Nick, and next thing she knew - she was pregnant. Then instead of going for abortion, she decided on adoption. Her super Christian parents turned hypocrites on her and kicked her out.
That's a very very condensed short version of it. But. It's not really the storyline that matters much. I mean, it's basic, it's been written before. It's nothing new. What's new and realistic and fresh are Grace's thoughts. Her experiences. The life lessons that she learns along the way. Here are some of them:
- One can be a genius in school and still be pretty stupid in real life.
- Condoms aren't 100% pregnancy-proof.
- Friends can try to help, but they can never take the place of a parent. Ever.
- A girl should never ever, ever put herself at the mercy of some guy who doesn't give a crap about her.
- A girl should always always, always think about the consequences of having sex.
And one more, and I always end up thinking about this when I read about teens having sex. Have you read "Anna and the French Kiss"? If you haven't, go read it NOW. If you have, you must remember this one passage where Anna explains why she hasn't broken the seal yet. It goes something like this: I will wait until I know that the man I am with is the man I want to be the father of my children. You know, in case something goes wrong. It's not the exact words, but it's the exact meaning. So. Think about that.
I know many girls won't take this book seriously and would discard it as irrelevant. It won't happen to them, right? But it does happen, unfortunately. And I think you should just sit down and for a day give a crap about Grace and her huge problem, so that it would never turn into your problem.
Anyway, I want to say that Grace, with her decision and behavior, won me over completely. She stood her ground and was so astonishingly brave the whole time. Yes, she was bothered by the stares and whispers at school. But she never give up on what was right. She thought things through and made up her mind based on rational analysis, not based upon people's opinions. For that, I'd like to high-five her.