Thursday, May 10, 2012

Still hunting

Book: The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing
Author: Melissa Bank
Published: 1999 (Penguin)
Pages: 274
I wish this book was as cool as its title and structural premise.

It’s another book about a slightly weird girl growing into her sexuality. She makes bad choices, believes guys she shouldn’t, gets lonely enough to almost fumble her one (last?) chance at a good relationship but saves it by blurting honesty at the guy who really wants to hear it.
The first bit, about when she’s fourteen and her older brother brings his much older girlfriend to a weekend at their family’s shore house, is great. She’s all sorts of bluntly adolescent insightful, and her parents are real people, and her brother tries too hard with the best of intentions.
But after that, it gets progressively less interesting and therefore more depressing by (accidentally?) proving that growing up dulls you into being normal if you do it right. I reserve my right to refuse that for at least another 22 years.
Seriously, though, the emotional depth just sort of goes away even as she’s talking about how her dad’s battle with cancer affects her romantic relationship with a much older man who refuses to take care of himself. The parallels, they are everywhere, but they don’t make me care. She says she’s devastated and lonely, but I don’t believe her.
I’m gonna start a new end-of-post categorization called “Bookshelf, Donation Pile, or Trash” for each book I paid money to own. Such as this one, which I’ll go ahead and place in the Donation Pile. It’s not offensively terrible. It’s got some good parts, one or two insights. It’s just too boring to keep myself, because I know what will happen. I’ll get a hankering for a re-read because the title’s so nifty, and then I’ll get disappointed all over again and lament the time I could be learning something new. Off to the (used bookstore that will give me money for it? That could happen! I read it in another blog this morning! Y’all, my rent went up) place that needs books.

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