Sunday, June 21, 2015

Review: The Marbury Lens

Title The Marbury Lens
By Andrew Smith
Genre YA Contemporary/Supernatural
Pages 358

First Sentence I guess in the old day, in other places, boys like me usually ended up twisting and kicking in the empty air beneath gallows.

Synopsis
Still reeling from a horrific kidnapping and escape that ends in murder, Jack escapes to London to check out a school with his friend Conner. With everything unresolved Jack is torn but when a man shows up with a mysterious pair of glasses that transport him to another dimension, a world called Marbury, Jack becomes obsessed with it. But when Conner finds out Jack starts to question his sanity. Does Marbury really exist or is Jack just finding a way to cope?


What it has going for it
Honestly, I don't remember why I picked this one up a few years ago. I remember thinking the story sounded interesting and maybe another blogger out there loved it and I decided to read it. All I know is that I bought it and just recently picked it up. It took me forever to read! My reading streak came to a screeching halt. While this book is riveting and both in this world and Marbury exciting things are happening, It was a painful book to read. So much awfulness is happening and you really just don't want to keep reading...but you sort of want to. Oh, um, I think I was supposed to be telling you things I liked. Um, well, I guess the fact that I did finish the book and couldn't quite look away was a good thing. I also was invested enough in the story to see what was going on. I did not relate to any of the characters but I did feel for them and that's something, right?


What's lacking
My biggest problem with this book wasn't the swearing and painful subject matter, believe it or not, but the fact that nothing was resolved. Yeah, there's a sequel but that's not what I'm talking about. The whole, is Jack crazy or not, thing was never really answered. Maybe it was and I just missed it??? Maybe you're not supposed to have any resolution??? All I know is I'm still unsure what the hell was real or not and that bothered me. I also was irritated with the underlying theme of despair in this book. There wasn't a single shred of hope at all! I guess the author had a similar trauma in his past and while I'm so, so sorry when I hear about this sort of thing happening in real life, I'm not sure he should be writing books for young adults. At least not books that offer no help, comfort or hope.

Yea or Nay?
If you're a masochistic and enjoy being very confused, yeah go ahead, otherwise, I don't think you're missing anything if you skip this one.

17 comments:

  1. +JMJ+

    Your review reminds me of my reactions to David Almond and Cliff McNish, particularly the latter. The worst part about his Silver Child was that it had no resolution: I slogged through all that ugly hopelessness for nothing. Yes, it's the first of a trilogy, but separate installments should also be somewhat self-contained.

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    1. Agreed! I was totally going to mention you in my review and beg you to read this one so you could explain it to me.

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  2. It's hard when you can tell the author has poured their heart and soul into a book but you can't really relate to it. I'm sure that in real life these kinds of trauma don't have neat endings but in a book it's might not translate so well.

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    1. Yeah, it didn't translate well at all!

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  3. I remember some pretty big controversy around this one, but like you, I wouldn't be bothered by the shocking details, but the lack of resolution would drive me crazy. I like knowing what I just went through and why, thank you very much. I think I'll pass.
    The cover is gorgeous, though.

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    1. It is a cool cover! I hate no resolution endings. I'm ok with open ended books but I need some sort of closure.

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  4. Wow, this sounds totally depressing. Think I'll pass.

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    1. Good choice. It was very depressing.

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  5. I read one of his other books - Winger - and kind of felt the same way. It was interesting but turns super dark and then it just ends. I don't think I'm the right audience for his books...

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  6. Ha ha ha! I love your yea or nay, lol. It's hilarious.

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    1. Thanks. I thought it was clever. ;)

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  7. I have heard very mixed things about this book, and from your review, I'm inclined to think that I wouldn't enjoy it. I hate unresolved endings and being confused all throughout a book. Think I'll give this one a miss - thanks for you review!

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    1. Yeah, if you don't like unresolved endings you wouldn't like this one.

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  8. I'm sorry you didn't like this one. I LOVE Andrew Smith (Winger was my FAVORITE read of 2014) and Grasshopper Jungle was... different. I've been meaning to read this one for a while, maybe I will get to it this summer so we can compare notes.

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    1. He is an amazing writer. It was just the subject matter and overall hopelessness I didn't like.

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  9. Hate it when a book smashes your reading streak to a screeching halt! Sorry that this one was so painful to read. Hope you're able to get back into the reading groove soon!

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