Friday, January 3, 2014
Review: Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian
AT FIRST YOU DON'T SEE THE CONNECTION.
Sex has always come without consequences for seventeen-year-old Evan Carter. He has a strategy--knows the profile of The Girl Who Would Say Yes. In each new town, each new school, he can count on plenty of action before he and his father move again. Getting down is never a problem. Until he hooks up with the wrong girl and finds himself in the wrong place at very much the wrong time.
AND THEN YOU CAN'T SEE ANYTHING ELSE.
After an assault that leaves Evan bleeding and broken, his father takes him to the family cabin in rural Pearl Lake, Minnesota, so Evan's body can heal. But what about his mind?
HOW DO YOU GO ON, WHEN YOU CAN'T THINK OF ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER?
Nothing seems natural to Evan anymore. Nothing seems safe. The fear--and the guilt--are inescapable. He can't sort out how he feels about anyone, least of all himself. Evan's really never known another person well, and Pearl Lake is the kind of place where people know everything about each other--where there might be other reasons to talk to a girl. It's annoying as hell. It might also be Evan's best shot to untangle sex and violence.
Goodreads | Author | Amazon
Source: Wendy – The Midnight Garden THANK YOU!!
That cover. That title. Sex & Violence. You would expect a graphic, in your face, angst filled story. Which is why I avoided it like the plague. I am so over the damaged YA/NA boy who is cured by the sweetest girl and magical orgasms. Only the reviews by two bloggers I trust implicitly – Jen (YA Romantics) and Wendy (The Midnight Garden) convinced me to give it a shot. They promised it was not your typical depiction of sex and they were right.
Sex & Violence is a surprisingly understated story. The violence is brutal, yet brief. The story instead following Evan’s struggle in the aftermath. How he struggles with sex, once so casual and plentiful, yet now connected to an act of brutality. How he can no longer enjoy the pleasure without remembering the pain.
Evan meets several people on his road to recovery and I love how this book explores sexuality for both guys and girls. There isn’t any slut shaming or man-whore labels – just an honest depiction of healthy (& yes, some unhealthy) teenage relationships. Evan is often an unlikeable character. He will have your empathy, of course, but he isn’t going to be your typical YA protagonist that makes you swoon. He is a brutally honest narrator, sharing all his thoughts, both good and bad. That makes him REAL – not the romanticized version that we may prefer. All of his relationships, even if temporary, make an impression and help him come to terms with what happened.
This was one of those books that kind of snuck under the radar emotionally. I wasn’t OMG breathless while I was reading, or even particularly attached to Evan, but when I finished and put the book down I was – WOW - what did I just read? I’m still pondering Evan’s relationships and future, several days later.
I’m glad I read this! If you’re looking for something a little different than a romanticized version of trauma and recovery give this one a try.