why i read it: because as part of the book challenge which i have undertaken, i was to select a title that was not a reread by a favorite author.
what i liked: “he’s a perfectly good boyfriend,” cath would say.
“he’s an end table,” wren would answer.
“he’s always there for me.”
“… to set magazines on.”
“would you rather i dated someone like jesse? so we can both end up crying every weekend?”
“i would rather you dated someone you’d actually like to kiss.”
“i’ve kissed abel.”
“oh, cath, stop. you’re making my brain throw up.”
“we’ve been dating for three years. he’s my boyfriend.”
“you have stronger feelings for baz and simon.”
“duh, they’re baz and simon, like that’s even fair–i like abel. he’s steady.”
“you just keep describing an end table…” (p. 35).
wren usually lost interest in a guy as soon as she’d won him over. the conversion was her favorite part. “that moment,” she told cath, “when you realize that a guy’s looking at you differently–that you’re taking up more space in his field of vision. that moment when you know he can’t see past you anymore” (pp. 35-36).
“we’re kids,” wren said.
“not anymore. you’re sophisticated young women. nobody wants to watch you unwrap gift cards” (p. 160).
“i’m really good at quickly identifying the smartest girl in every class.”
cath frowned at him. “god, levi. that’s so exploitive.”
“how is it exploitive? i don’t make them wear miniskirts. i don’t call them ‘baby.’ i just say, ‘hello, smart girl. would you like to talk to me about great expectations?”
“they probably think you like them.”
“i do like them” (p. 172).
eventually she heard a buzz and levi walked back through the doors, holding two disposable coffee cups and balancing two boxed sandwiches on his forearms.
“turkey or ham?” he asked.
“why are you always feeding me?”
“well, i work in food service, and my major is basically grazing…” (p. 220).
seeing that they were scared terrified their dad. he’d go to bed and sleep for fifteen hours. he’d make an appointment with his counselor. he’d try the meds again, even if they all knew it wouldn’t stick.
“i can’t think when i’m on them,” he’d told cath one night. she was sixteen, and she’d come downstairs to check the front door and found it unlocked–and then she’d inadvertently locked him out. her dad had been sitting outside on the steps and it scared her half to death when he rang the doorbell.
“they slow your brain down,” he said, clutching an orange bottle of pills. “they iron out all the wrinkles… maybe all the bad stuff happens in the wrinkles, but all the good stuff does, too…
“they break your brain like a horse, so it takes all your orders. i need a brain that can break away, you know? i need to think” (p. 224).
“i’m like him,” she whispered.
“you’re not,” wren said.
“i am. i’m crazy like him.” she was already having panic attacks. she was already hiding at parties…
“you’re not,” wren said.
“but what if i am?”
“decide not to be.”
“that’s not how it works,” cath argued.
“nobody knows how it works.”
“what if i don’t even see it coming?”
“i’ll see it coming… if it tries to take you,” wren said, “i won’t let go.” (pp. 226-227).
“somebody else got ugg boots for christmas,” reagan said, watching the dinner line empty into the dining room. “if we had whiskey, this is when we’d take a shot” (p. 256).
what sucked: the main character’s name is cather. every time i read that, it thought catheter.
having said all that: this is definitely my least favorite of her books. i liked it. i did not love it. i do not want more of it.