Thursday, October 15, 2009

Giving up on Hero-Type


by Barry Lyga

From the author's website:

Maybe it's courage, the kind Kevin Ross (Kross to his friends) showed when he saved Leah Muldoon's life.

Maybe it's living with your own guilt so someone else doesn't have to...

Maybe it's the way Kross was in the right place at the right time...

Or the way he wouldn't back down when everything that mattered to him was called into question.

Maybe it's keeping your friends close--like the Council of Fools, a motley collection of goofballs and whacked-out teenage jesters--even when they don't really understand you.

Or maybe it's striving to do the right thing...

Or figure out what the right thing is in the first place.

Maybe it's trying to figure out how to live with a father who barely speaks, a father who guards a dark secret from his past.

Maybe it's all of this.

Or none of this.

Kross saved someone's life. Maybe that's enough to make him a hero, regardless of his own terrible secret.

Then again...

Maybe not.


Okay, I am going to try my best to be fair with this book. Try is the key word in that sentence. You know how you come on my blog and sort of expect happy 5 rose rate reviews? Well, here you go, I am human - I'm giving this book 1/5 roses.

What drove me to turn this audiobook off half-way through it? (I am the type that usually plugs through a book at this point...)

I'm going to list them because it makes me feel better.

1. Main character is a hero because he is a stalker. And I really just would have been satisfied if he had admitted that very frankly. But no, he has to beat around the bush.

2. Point of View - I'm sorry, when you have a completely dull pimpled teenage boy who is a stalker and constantly talks down to himself in his head... I just can't handle that.

3. The only interesting parts were left out. Like, why was his dad discharged from the army? Just leaves you hanging and not in the way that keeps you reading to find out. No, the information just seems drop out. The main character finds out, but you don't.

4. The distraction plot. I felt like there was this weird separation between Kevin's obsession with videotaping Leah and his newer obsession with freedom of speech - started to impress Leah and then turning into a monster of its own.

5. The lack of positive female characters. Leah is an object, not a young woman in Kevin's mind. Flip's girlfriend is only around because Flip likes having sex with her. She has some better qualities but Kevin thinks of her as Flip's girlfriend, not as a person. Kevin's mom divorces Kevin's dad, loses weight, becomes a lesbian and forces Kevin to choose who he should live with - his dad or his mom and little brother. Kevin chooses his dad - and his mother and brother move states away to California. She doesn't call him unless he calls first.

Any redeeming qualities?
Not for me, but I can see guys getting into this book. As a girl it just didn't appeal and I often yelled at the CD player in the car for Kevin to admit his stalker-ness. To quote me "You're a stalker, repeat after me - STALKER". But no, there can be cursing, drugs and references to sex but he can't bloody call himself a stalker - he's just "a bad person". Lame.

I think it's also Lyga's style that I just can't get into. I could barely get through Fanboy and Gothgirl by him - and I could relate to some of the issues in that book.

So, sorry Barry, but I had to give up on this one or I might have damaged library materials pushing through the last 4 discs.

1/5 Roses


  1. That sounds like.....a horrible book.

    Speak the truth!

  2. hmm i guess everybody has different tastes in books I personally love all his books but to each her own, I liked that you were honest and you tried, good review

  3. I so want to be you when I grow up!
    I am such a wimp. You - your are a brave & honest soul...thanks for the review!

  4. Enjoyed the review....hey, bad or good, it is your opinion. I recently reviewed another one of his title's (Goth Girl Rising)..had similiar issues. A lot of drug, sex, drinking and suicide least with that one the underlying story had a good message. It was just REALLY hard to get through.

  5. Yeah for honesty in reviews!

    Stop on by my blog, I have an award for you!

  6. Thank you for the incredibly honest review. This sounds dreadful, and I will not be reading it.

  7. I have not read any of Mr. Lyga's books yet. I think I would start with the library first instead of investing in a copy of my own.

  8. An amen to honesty! It's so much harder to write about a book you don't like. Kudos to you. I especially appreciate the listing format. Thanks.

  9. I'm glad you posted this. You did a great job putting your feelings our there for this book in a nice way. I think you left out the whole stomping on the audiobook part though...hehehehe

  10. I have this on my shelf right now but never got around to picking it up. I'm wondering if I should or not now.

  11. Wow, sounds pretty awful. Thanks for the honesty.

  12. Really appreciated your honesty and how you explained why you didn't care for this one. That's why I love your blog! :)

  13. This sounds realy bad. Thanks for your honest review.

    You had me cracking up imagining you yelling at the audiobook with your quoted words.

  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. Hey, Anon, no need to be mean! Listening to books is the same as reading. The book is still the same and it's just a different format. When you do a LOT of driving audio books are great.

    Kristen, glad you gave an honest review. I kind of want to read it now to see if I get the same response :)

  16. Honest reviews are where it's at.

    Dropping the "B-bomb" as an anon is, however, not cool.

  17. Drea is right...reading and listening can be the same thing for some people. I can't listen to a book but my sister cant focus if she's reading, only if she can hear it.

    And there really is no need to get rude. Kristen was doing her part in keeping up a good book review blog. She read it, she didn't like it and she wrote about it. If you liked it, go write on your blgo why you liked it. Not everyone is going to love the same books, or hate them.

    Everyone has an opinion and they are allowed to express it. Yes, you are allowed to say what you said, but there is a thing called courtesy and dignity. Oh, and repsect.

    Kristen, I love your honesty and your reviews. I think I might go read it for myself and see what I feel about it.


  18. Anonymous wrote:

    This was an amazing book, yes it was weird at some points, but if you thoroughly read it, and analyze it you'll see the greater meaning and the truth behind it. This book has a lot of substance and quality so, if you like a book that gets you thinking then I'm sure its for you!

    p.s= * try reading it instead of listening to it next time

    * = deleted word

    Anon. - While I understand and appreciate your opinion on this book, I do not appreciate your use of crude words. I think it's quite inappropriate to use that language on a blog where both adults and teens and possibly tweens are reading both the review and comments.

    I do recognize your love of this book and appreciate your insight.

    Also, reading and listening to a book are often the same thing - unless the voice actor/actress is not up to par. Therefore, I do not think my opinion would change if I read the book format as opposed to the audio.


  19. I loved the honesty of your review. I had a bad one today too that was a romance that just was like listening to Charlie Brown's teacher mwa mwa ma ma mwa mwa mwa ma.... I am stumped at how to proceed and I think you have definately given me some good ideas at how to proceed. I hope you do not take it too heart.... the reviewer can get flack just as much as the author but some people just don't see it from any other point of view than their own. Yes a man or woman took a large part of the year writing and getting published but everyone is allowed their opinion .... should everyone have to like the same books movies foods etc.... hello Big Brother?

  20. Hey Kristen! I just reread your review and I do understand your points. Although I really did like his fascination with Leah just because it makes it clear that people are grey, as opposed to black and white. And as a nerd girl, I tend to online stalk my crushes, so while his approach was extreme, I did understand it.

    I do disagree about Fam being a weak girl. Throughout the book I felt Kevin's new appreciation for her. She came across to me as a fun and intelligent girl. Flip was just generally an idiot and didn't pay any attention to her.

    Anyways, thanks for this review! It was nice to reread it knowing what you were talking about.


Leave some love!