quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


And Then Things Fall Apart (Review)

Title: And Then Things Fall Apart
Author(s)Arlaina Tibensky
Edition: Paperback, 254 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: July 26, 2011
Source: Got at NCTE
Buy: AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

The Summary
Keek’s life was totally perfect….Keek and her boyfriend just had their Worst Fight Ever; her best friend heinously betrayed her; her parents are divorcing; and her mom’s across the country caring for her newborn cousin, who may or may not make it home from the hospital. To top it all off, Keek’s got the plague. (Well, the chicken pox.) Now she’s holed up at her grandmother’s technologically barren house until further notice. Not quite the summer vacation Keek had in mind.

With only an old typewriter and Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar for solace and guidance, Keek’s alone with her swirling thoughts. But one thing’s clear through her feverish haze—she’s got to figure out why things went wrong so she can make them right.

My Opinion
This is a book I picked up last year at NCTE. I got to meet Arlaina Tibensky, and chat a little bit before getting my copy signed. She is hilarious, and based on her signature, has a love of Battlestar Galactica; it simply endeared me more to this awesome book! And Then Things Fall Apart is an introspective and intense look into a young woman’s life dealing with family, friend, and relationship issues. Keek, the protagonist of the story, is stuck at her grandmother’s house with a gnarly case of the chicken pox. The only items she has to entertain herself are a busted old typewriter and a worn-out copy of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. To make matters worse she had an epic fight with her boyfriend, got stabbed in the back by her best friend, and saw her parents’ marriage crumble. This is all taken in and regurgitated in Keek’s journal, which is the format of the book. Keek is kept just on the right side of self-centered, angsty teen. Tibensky uses The Bell Jar in a very clever way, juxtaposing many of the book’s events with instances of Keek’s life. The story is very stylistic, with minimal dialogue and a stream of consciousness prose. this won’t appeal to everyone, but the crafting of the inner thoughts never borders on the dull. There are inserts of present events that make the book relevant, and the development of some of Keek’s relationships are nicely done. The best one is between Keek and her grandmother. There are familial connections subtly placed throughout the book, and Tibensky shows those connections strengthening under the worst conditions. You should all know by now that I’m a sucker for family relationships, so I love the results of all the events. Besides the her ability to craft those connections, Tibensky also handles the realities of cheating carefully and thoughtfully. She’s able to convey the fact that things aren’t black and white, but complex and unfair and heartbreaking. Adults can be completely selfish, both the cheaters and the cheatees, but at the same time can give everything to bridge the destruction. It is these intricacies that allow Keek to move past much of her selfish tendencies and really evaluate the important parts of her life. Definitely not a book for everyone, I think And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky is a great addition to the YA Contemporary genre. Not a fast sugar puff, but a slow reflection; you’ll need to freshen up on The Bell Jar and take your time during reading. But don’t take my word for it, check out And Then Things Fall Apart at your local bookstore or library!

Interview with Arlaina Tibensky

Final Rating
Book Cover: 5/5
Book Title: 4/5
Plot: 8/10
Characters: 8.5/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 43.5/50: B+

1 comment:

  1. LOVED this book. It was sofa king good.
    Yeah, just a little inside Keek joke there ;)


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