Friday, February 4, 2011

Book Review: "The Virgin Suicides" By: Jeffrey Eugenides

Title: The Virgin Suicides
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Pages: 243
Personal Rating: 4/5
Number read for the year: 6

From the back cover: The Virgin Suicides announced the arrival of a major new novelist. In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters-beautiful,eccentic, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys- commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family's fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death. Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time...."

Personal Reflection: Going into this one, I wasn't sure what to expect. I'd heard some great things about it, and some not so great things, so I went into it with an open mind. For the most part I enjoyed this one, there were some slow parts, where I wanted to scream "Hurry up! I wanna know what happens next", and many times I felt the sorrow that the family went through during this time of loss. The actions of some of these girls made me want to yell at them "You stupid girl! Get your head on straight!" and at other times, I just wanted to hug them, and take them to the best psychiatrist I could find.

One of the ways I rate a book is by how friendly the characters are. Can I get to know them, have feelings for them? Can I "make friends" with them? I did so with Eugenides suicidal girls. I wanted to slap the poop out of their parents and take them under my wing.

This was a great piece of work by Eugenides. I had read Middlesex (Which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2002) by this author a few years ago, so I was expecting another great one by him, and I wasn't disappointed. This was a great reading experience, if a little sad. However that being said, the fact that I had emotion when I turned the last page says alot about how this author reaches his audience. He doesn't merely tell a story, he takes his reader by the hand and engages them with his characters. This is truly a skill found in only the best authors.

He has another book, The Marriage Plot set to be released in October of this year, I am definitely putting it on my list to purchase. I am excited to read another by this Pulitzer-Prize winner.