This is definitely the last book I’ll read from Anita Shreve. Tried two more and they stank up to high heaven. This one was slightly better but not by much. Other books:
I’ve read this type of story before. Sex tape surfaces at public school and there is an underage girl involved. The beginning of the novel introduces us to a devastating videotape that involves two boys 18 years old, one boy 19 years old and a very young girl, aged 14. The tape shows them involved in very explicit sexual acts. They are all very clearly drunk. This tape ends up falling into the headmaster’s hands and he scrambles to keep it contained within the Academy’s walls. However, this doesn’t happen and from that point on everything spirals out of control.
Anita Shreve checks each of the character’s motivations and reactions and pieces the story back together into a narrative epic.
I hated reading her story. Each chapter is named after the person who is talking and the way of talking and expressions are kept throughout. But the way of talking is soooo dry!
“The lying started in the eighth grade. Possibly it had begun earlier, and I simply hadn’t noticed.”
It’s like reading a report from a courthouse (I did this and then this and then this happened). Nothing compelling about the writing, nothing to keep you emotionally attached to any of the characters. The story never fully develops any of the main characters and you’re hoping from chapter to chapter that you’ll see a bit more about the type of people involved.
“I guess that’s the point of drinking, to take all the feelings and thoughts and morals away until you are just a body doing what a body will do.”
The ethical question that lies at the heart of the novel has been discussed before (and mediatized to death on TV) as there is nothing worse than seeing the over-sexualisation of teenagers. Is it the school’s fault? Is it the parents’? Is it the media that shows sexual acts and the teens are easily impressed and want to do these acts themselves (and film themselves doing it?)