27 December 2010

Day 275: Lament

Lament by Maggie Stiefvater.  ISBN: 9780738713700.

Oh boy, more relationship fucked-uppery.  I get to dissect yet another wrongheaded idea about relationships.  Why are these all written by women? Why do some of the worst examples of relationships come from young women?  This is just one of the things I had issue with in Lament.  It's kind of a biggie though.

Luke is talking to Deirdre and she mentions that James (her best friend) is jealous.  Luke's response is that James had "plenty of chances, he blew it" and something along the lines of 'I love you more, anyway.'

I'm sorry, I take offense to that. Afterall, James is the one who has behaved like a gentleman throughout this entire book.  Just because James didn't tell Deirdre he loved her within the first week of meeting her, does not mean that he doesn't love her or that he loves her less than Luke.  All it means is that James actually took time to develop a relationship with Deirdre, rather than rushing her into doing anything physical and getting hormones confused with emotions.

And for teenagers there are many reasons not to reveal affections.  Might it be possible that James didn't want to tell Deirdre because he preferred to maintain their friendship over having a "chance" at being in a romantic relationship with her?  Gee, which of these two guys sounds more mature?  And why is the more mature one sneered at by the older (granted soulless) guy?  I'm sure Luke didn't do a whole lot of dating while doing the bidding of his fairy mistress, but you would think he would learn something through observation at least.

I'm sort of confused as to why Deirdre didn't at least stick up for her friend James when all that sneering was going on.  I think if it was one of my male friends who liked me I would at least remind Luke that my James had some obvious good qualities or else I wouldn't have spent the last five years or so being his friend.  Just brushing off that kind of relationship as no threat just because Deirdre didn't have any romantic interest in James at the moment is prototypical asshole behavior.  It's like saying, "I'm so hot, I can just pop into your life and within a week you will be crawling on your knees and years of friendship cannot compete with my hot, studly body."

I am not saying all of this because I want Deirdre to end up with James.  I think that would be a better relationship for her.  It would be the mature relationship, but Deirdre is obviously not ready for a mature relationship.  Unfortunately she is so immature that she doesn't realize she is playing at a love that will get her hurt.  If I could stand the characters in this story I would consider reading on just to see if I'm proven right.  Unfortunately I feel I've already tortured myself enough.  If someone who's read it already wants to email me the end result of the second book, go ahead.

Honestly, I don't have a problem with stuff like this being written.  I do think there is a problem with not at least addressing some of the issues involved in the kind of relationships presented by these teenage love triangles.  I am going to cringe for saying thing, but for this very reason I think it might actually be a good idea to teach Twilight in schools.  If you open up the discussion about the wrong behavior in these relationships we might get some very intelligent and relationship savvy young women.  Also, copy editing these works might be an enjoyable task for high school students as opposed to the typical grammar exercises.

My review can be found at Goodreads.  I also found Donna's review at Bites to be pretty accurate.
LibsNote: I received a free copy of this book from a publisher's booth at ALA 2010.  Yes, I am still reading through that stack of books.  Also, my fiance wants it noted for the record that the juxtaposition of the knife blade with the title makes it look like "LAME NT".  I kind of have to agree with that assessment, and would do so regardless of whether or not I liked the book.

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