Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Book Review: Sex & Violence, by Carrie Mesrobian @CarrieMesrobian

Sex & Violence introduces an authentic teen narrator, but left me wanting more.

Evan's mother is dead, and since that happened, his father (a workaholic) has moved him from condo to condo and from boarding school to boarding school. Evan appears to be a typical teen boy -- obsessed with girls and particularly with having sex with them. But he's strictly a one-time guy, deleting their numbers from his phone after the deed is done. Until he meets Collette. While Evan isn't interested in an emotional relationship, he enjoys the regular sexual encounters with Collette. Collette's former boyfriend finds out about this relationship and beats both Evan and Collette to within inches of their lives.

Evan's father decides to take him to their family cabin in Minnesota to heal -- both physically and emotionally. So that's pretty much the rest of the book. Evan's healing. He has a therapist, he makes friends, his body heals and he begins to even strengthen it. There are some little surprises and even a couple of romantic relationships.

Sex & Violence reads quickly and easily. I must caution that there are really a lot of instances of the F-word. Not that it wasn't authentic, but even I noticed it (and usually I can't remember if there was any swearing in a book by the time I've finished.) Also, as the title indicates, there's sex. Talking about sex, thinking about sex, having sex. Not explicit, but it's a theme.

Sex & Violence is all about the character of Evan. He's telling the story. We get his inner thoughts and feelings, and Mesrobian gets Evan's voice perfectly, I think (having never been a teen boy.) I enjoyed reading the story, all the time hoping for better things for Evan.

And Evan does end up better. Well, I think he does. The story just leaves off a bit too soon. I'm not all about perfect, happy endings, but I did feel like I needed a bit more closure for Evan. I think I needed him to not only heal, but mature. And I think he still has a long way to go in the maturity department. I still don't feel right about his situation at the end of Sex & Violence.

If you are all about authentic teen characters, then Sex & Violence is a MUST read. But if you are mesmerized by a great plot and the satisfying resolution of conflict, you may be left wanting.

Published by Carolrhoda Books, October 1, 2013
Copy obtained from LMC Magazine
294 pages

Rating: 3/5

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  1. I do love authentic teen voices, so I think I will give this a try. I had never heard of it before reading your review! It's a shame you didn't get more closure in the ending for Evan, but still it sounds like a thought provoking read. Great review!

  2. Annette, pretty much my thoughts about the ending and how we left Evan. I wanted more, more closure and more healing. Maybe an epilogue would have helped!


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