Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Book Review- The Virgins by Pamela Erens

The fact that I wrote my last book review a month ago and I managed to get this one written at this time is considered an accomplishment. I’m in the middle of reading a new book, and I’ve come up with a new system for book reviews that I’m feeling confident about which is good because it will help me give you a few more facts on the novels. Anyway, this book was really not my favourite. My mom and I had a discussion about it after, and we were left unsatisfied with a lot of the details in the book. I typically like a different narration, but the third party character narration was unnecessary. There was too much flipping back and forth, and with less flipping, it could have been more mysterious. Here are the quotes I liked though:

1.       She was afraid during her childhood and tried nothing, and now she wants to discover she is not really a coward (16). 

A lot of this novel is about personal growth and young adult exploration. I mean, the book is called The Virgins. In this case, Aviva is overcoming her childhood fears and attempting to grow into a newfound adulthood. It is difficult to change yourself based on your mistakes from the past. Adulthood is such a scary time. I’ve been starting to realize what kind of people aren’t going to fit into my life. In the past, I’ve kept people in my life longer than I should have and that affected me in negative ways. Letting go is scary.  

2.       But now that she’s right in front of me, I feel the pull (27). 

You know when you imagine how a scenario is going to play out when you have feelings for someone? This is a lot of what I imagine a scenario to be. This is that spark between two people that is almost tangible.  

3.       She has become visible (31). 

Of course, this revelation comes about after a makeover, but the idea behind this is inspiring. It’s a moment of personal growth where Aviva finds herself. She finally comes into her own and feels comfortable in her own skin. It’s a feeling we all have at some point in our lives when we feel important for the first time. 

4.       I want to not know myself anymore (35).  

In context, this is a very sexual scene in the book. However, the essence remains. For me, this is passion. And passion is a paradox because you lose yourself in something that makes up a substantial part of your soul.  

5.       She feels herself being put together by him piece by piece (46). 

In our lowest points, I think we’re all looking for someone to help us piece ourselves back together. Maybe it’s a friend or a sister or a romance. Whoever it is, they’re important. 

6.       I hope to meet the right listener one day, the one I can unburden myself to (92). 

This is an issue I’ve been thinking about this year. I’m in a place in my life where people around me are running and I’m just trying to figure out how to deal with being behind. Behind is lonely. I don’t have a lot of people that understand me. This “right listener” is someone I need in my life. I was discussing this with my counsellor and she asked if I want to change any of my relationships. The truth is, no. I need someone new in my life.   

7.       The others think it is a smile of knowledge, the silence of wisdom, and leave her be (170). 

This book is also about outside appearances. Look up Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson. It’s a short poem that matches the theme of the book. We all judge others, but most of the time, we never get to see beyond the surface. Just a thought.
Overall? Not a great book. I could relate to many part of this novel, but would not read it again. Therefore, I give this book 2/5 stars. This book was a solid okay for me.

-Daniella