Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It’s All Fun and Games…

Pretty Girls Make Graves by Nicole Trilivas

Summary: “My name is Justine and I have a story to tell. I have a story the way everyone has one, and it’s not a new story the way no one’s story is new. You’ve heard this one before. You hear it everyday.”

So begins the story of the peculiarly pretty misfit Justine with the persistent need to recount her misadventures—even if it’s nothing you haven’t heard before. Sparked by a break-up with her married boyfriend, Justine trades in university for the underbelly of international cities, and descends into a destructive reinvention.

Acutely aware that she’s not the first girl to experience these formative misadventures, Justine hijacks the vocal chords of archetypal characters from myths, fairy tales, literature, and pop culture. She employs the stories that echo her story—the violent exit from girlhood via a botched love life—better than her own.

She doesn’t have to profess another mistress’s manifesto: Kalypso, one of the paramour goddesses from Homer’s Odyssey, has that one covered. She was never overtly vicious without provocation, that’s the job of a sadomasochistic Wicked Witch of fairy tale infamy. She doesn’t have a penchant for picking the wrong guy over her soul mate, Catherine of Wuthering Heights does.

PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES is a dark and stylized examination of the vicious things we do in the name of self-preservation, and questions the frantic necessity to tell our stories to establish human connection—however ugly they may be.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review.

Review: An incredible story of a haunted and troubled girl that could have been pulled from real life.

This book is fiction, but it is incredibly true to life. It felt like I could have been reading a memoir of a troubled young adult. While this book could have stood on the merits of Justine’s personal story, what really stood out to me was the use of myth, mythology, and faerie tales to tell her story. It adds a surreal depth to Justine's story, but still manages to add a humanity to her tales. Some tales are timeless for a reason. 

I honestly can't imagine feeling as aimless and miserable as Justine is. I was able to sympathize with her a number of times throughout the book, but I was glad that I do not have to resort to sleeping around, alcohol, and drugs to deal with any sadness or ill feelings. She seems to have no shortage of money, but money, past a certain point, does not buy happiness. Would actual responsibility cause her to toughen up? I can only hope there is a happy ending for Justine, but I feel that if there is, it will have taken her a long time to get there. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this to fans of stories about tragic figures or those that enjoy mythological devices in stories. 

No comments:

Post a Comment