Monday, January 19, 2009
Cycler - Lauren Maclaughlin
Jill has truly terrible PMS: Every month, for four days, she turns into a boy. When she wakes up female from her monthly male interlude, Jill meditates to remove all memories of the previous four days - a feat she accomplishes so successfully she creates Jack, an entirely independent personality for her male self. With the militant help of her fervently anti-Jack mother, Jill tries to lead a normal life. But prom is coming, Jill has a crush and Jack is getting restless. In this dark comedy of sex, gender and sexuality, Jill must come to terms with Jack before her mother's hostility destroys them both. A yoga-addicted father, a bisexual hottie and a best friend who invents wildly bizarre fashions fill out a cast of quirky, entertaining, well-drawn secondary characters - with the exception of the unfortunate stereotyping of a kitchen worker as the only Hispanic character. Jill and Jack's story, touched with intrigue, humor and fascinating questions, ends with a conclusion both satisfactory and open-ended.
Wow. Where can I even begin about this book? Let's just say that I didn't like it very much. It had a very... interesting topic, but it was almost too... different for me to enjoy it. It wasn't only that, but the way that certain parts were approached just made me, honestly, want to get sick at some parts, it was that bad.
The writing in general wasn't too bad in my opinion, it was more the topic and the way it was approached by the author that made me not enjoy this book as much. The writing was for the most part wonderful, and the author did a wonderful job of doing the alternating chapters thing and getting into both Jack and Jill's heads. Unfortunately, while Jill's chapters weren't so bad, Jack's were. The things that he thought about at certain parts were just... too much. I didn't really enjoy them that much.
Overall, Cycler could've been a wonderful book if it had been taken to by a different approach, and if the idea wasn't so out-there I most likely would've enjoyed it more.