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Shirley Jackson, Francine Prose
No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs
Naomi Klein
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"I want to perform an unnatural act."

- Lenny Bruce

"I get a kick out of being an outsider constantly. It allows me to be creative. I don't like anything in the mainstream and they don't like me."

- Bill Hicks

"I don’t like ass kissers, flag wavers or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn people: “Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, ‘There is no “I” in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an “I” in independence, individuality and integrity.’” Avoid teams at all cost. Keep your circle small. Never join a group that has a name. If they say, “We’re the So-and-Sos,” take a walk. And if, somehow, you must join, if it’s unavoidable, such as a union or a trade association, go ahead and join. But don’t participate; it will be your death. And if they tell you you’re not a team player, congratulate them on being observant."

-George Carlin

"The more I see, the less I know for sure."

- John Lennon

Fallen (Lauren Kate's Fallen Series #1)

Fallen - Lauren Kate I decided to reread/skim this to fully explain why this book was such a negative experience for me. Here's how it went down:Page 1: (sigh)Page 67: "Her hazel eyes fleck with stress." What?Page 74: Yes, because only horrible people enjoy heavy metal. @$^%^&*!Page 75: A "happy whisper"?Page 76: "The woman gave Luce a you-look-like-the-reading-sort smile that Luce had been getting from librarians all her life."What? I don't...Yeah, I can't do this. Going to have to skim it.So I skimmed, and rediscovered all the things that drove me crazy. Here is my review, and since I am a WWE fan, I have used some wrestling gifs. Deal with it.Fallen is one of those YA books that has a beautiful cover, a promising premise, and a horrible story. It's not just the bad writing, which really stands out. It's the godawful story.Luce Price immediately shows herself to be shallow, self-centered, and rather stupid. She is blamed for the death of another student but is far too interested in herself to feel any sort of guilt. Being sent a boarding school takes care of that pesky problem of having a mother/father/guardian present in a YA book, but I had high hopes that the unusual setting would create interesting tension. It didn't. What created tension was Luce's inevitable inability to fit in (even though she's attractive and has A Cool Girl and A Hot Guy fighting over her). Plus there's Daniel Grigori, who creates tension, but not the good kind. He's a crap character.When we first encounter Daniel we of course are treated to Luce mooning over him, as he's hopelessly attractive. Of course! Then we get the famous scene in which Daniel notices Luce noticing him and he flips her off.Now, Luce is offended for two seconds, but then she's "drawn" to him. She spies on him in the library and then we get the Twilight-esque scene in which Weird Guy Saves Girl But Then Denies It, Oh He's So Mysterious I Must Know More About This Guy. In the process, Luce basically dedicates herself to stalking Daniel and stripping herself of any dignity she might have had. Ugh. How annoying is that? Answer: Extremely.It really kills me that this guy was a total ass to her, yet she can't stop herself from dedicating her free time to obsessing over him. Now I know that they're "destined" for each other and past lives, if they get together it will destroy us all blah blah THAT'S NO EXCUSE. If someone treats you like human garbage, don't obsess over them. Say "screw you" mentally and move on.I figure some fans might say, "But Luce did get upset with him! She was all mad at him for flipping her off, she wondered what his problem was!" Yeah, how long did that last? Not long at all. No pride, no self-respect. And we're supposed to root for this girl.I will give you that Daniel is not as bad as Patch from Hush, Hush, but that's like saying being kicked in the shins isn't as bad as being punched in the face. I would love nothing more to see both these fictional characters eviscerated.What did it for me was the scene in which Luce is swimming (it's a passionate hobby for her, apparently), and she stops because someone said Daniel's name. It was really disturbing to see how obsessed this girl was over this guy. This isn't healthy, and it has got to stop happening, particularly in YA. I can tell you from experience that no one likes being obsessed over and STALKED, and that goes for guys too. Add to the fact that the convoluted love triangle just makes Luce seem pathetic. She does whatever Cam or Daniel tells her to do, and is bowled over when Cam gives her a necklace, even when he's being incredibly creepy. Putting all that aside, Luce is quite stupid. Call me mean all you want, but her actions speak louder than words. It's another case of the reader being TOLD that a character is bright, but we don't see it. She treats her "friends" like dirt and only cares about herself. A character Todd dies, and her immediate thought is that it's her fault and that people will call her names.That's what bothered me. Nevermind the bad writing, the goofy conclusion (I actually cracked up - nothing like the unintentionally hilarious!), the odd pacing (or lack thereof). It's the ghastly characters that we're supposed to like and root for. YA deserves so much better than this. In any event, I'm done. I'm done with this book and stories like it. I'm done with stupid heroines who care about themselves and how they can pick themselves apart for their crappy love interests. I'm done with abusive love interests who are forgiven for their actions because they are attractive (cough cough TED BUNDY cough cough). I'm done with unsettling codependent relationships being heralded as "the ultimate romances". I'm DONE.So I'm moving on, as I hope you all will too. Let us shed ourselves of books like this and strive for something greater.