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Book 13: The Virgin Suicides (By Jeffrey Eugenides)

by on June 10, 2013

Read-a-thon: Day 1 Progress

Pages accomplished: 110

Book: The Virgin Suicides (By Jeffrey Eugenides) and Behind the Beautiful Forevers (by Katherine Boo)

FinishedThe Virgin Suicides

Mental state: The first day of the read-a-thon did not go as well as I had planned. Broke several of my read-a-thon cardinal rules, chiefly Facebook and Youtube…but at least I have a review for you! The day ended with a little frustration in terms of the finished book, but I kept an open mind for Boo’s (What an awesome last name eh? – Yeah, I’m Canadian and I say “eh” a lot now-a-days, just to fit into the Canadian stereotype).


Title: The Virgin Suicides

Author: Jeffrey Eugenides

Genre: YA

Summary: The lives and suicides of the five Lisbon daughters, as meticulously observed and investigated by the a group of boys of their neighborhood who were obsessively in love with them.

Eaten Thru On: June 10, 2013

The Good: Jeffrey tying the suicides into a whole demise of a community and a set way of life, going from micro-events to a macro interpretation, was a refreshing read. Also, its sporadic little wisdom and the lovely way words were sometimes arranged to make for a description of something had me stop and think for a bit. For example, “They were bound for college, husbands, child-rearing, unhappiness only dimly perceived.” Especially, that last bit. That was great. But that was about it.

The Not-So-Splendid: It was confusing from start to finish. I was desperately looking for something to hold onto for meaning or understanding. But I got nothing. I couldn’t quite follow the sudden jumps from one thing to another without any break (in paragraphs or sentences even) in between to warn the readers that he was going onto another topic or event. And the way he handled the suicides, I just didn’t agree with how calm and mellow it all seemed to melt off the pages. Lastly, the ending pissed me off (excuse my French). Selfishness? That was what those boys concluded with? The fact that they blamed the suicides on the girls’ selfishness gave off such an inhumane, cold understanding of the situation and the things they witnessed that any last strand of relatability or effort to sympathize with them on my part left me. They said they were obsessed, in love with those girls. All that just seem like empty, hollow words now. Plus, all the loose strings hanging about that never got tied up left me unsatisfied and severely frustrated. How did the parents not get any sort of investigation into how they mistreated their daughters? How could the therapist, doctors, psychologists, etc. be so uneducated as to think they could blame the suicides on mere genes and a “virus” in the air? Didn’t anyone see how blatantly mistreated these girls were at the hands of their parents, especially their mother?! And my god, the last daughter, how could anyone not think of taking her out of that house and into specialized protective care?! For god sake, she attempted suicide! You don’t just go back to the ways things were after a suicide attempt, especially not thoughts about wanting her to “just get it over and done with”. What is that?! It’s like the people in this book have no heart nor empathy, no sense of what’s right and wrong. All that swiping tragedy under the rug just did not sit right with me.

Final Verdict: 1.5/5

Best Enjoyed: I haven’t a clue because I didn’t enjoy it all that much.

Next bookworming target: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

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