|Sex and Violence by Carrie Mesrobian|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Powerful, introspective look at the after-effects of sex and violence.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: April 2014|
|Publisher: Michael O'Mara|
|External links: Author's website|
Seventeen-year-old Evan is a player who, when he moves to a new town, has always found it easy to find a girl to have sex with. Then he ends up in the wrong place, with the wrong girl, at the wrong time, and suffers a brutal assault. Retreating to a quiet community in Minnesota with his father, he meets many new people, including a girl who may be there for more than 'just' sex. But can he recover from the trauma he's suffered?
This is a darker read than I’d normally go for but I was drawn into it by hearing lots of people whose opinion I respect talking about it. It’s a powerful book with lots of real strengths – notably the characters, who are well-rounded and interesting, and Evan’s excellent narrative voice. I also thought Mesrobian did a great job of dealing with the sex and violence referred to in the title without ever becoming particularly explicit – it’s a thoughtful look at the after-effects of both.
It's a very introspective book in a lot of ways - despite the attention grabbing title it's far more about the consequences of Evan's actions than the actions themselves, as shown in his letters to Collette, the girl who he caused so much trouble for, and his talking with his therapist. I liked that Evan felt like a really realistic character - he's flawed and scared, but manages to be likeable all the same. Mesrobian also captures the spirit of the small Minnesota community very well. If there's anything to criticise here it's perhaps that the book felt a bit longer than it needed to be - my attention started wandering slightly at a few points; but that's a very minor thing indeed.
A really strong debut; I'll definitely be looking out for more from Carrie Mesrobian in the future.
For another flawed character, I think fans of this would really like Tease by Amanda Maciel.
You can read more book reviews or buy Sex and Violence by Carrie Mesrobian at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Sex and Violence by Carrie Mesrobian at Amazon.com.
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