Monday, December 19, 2005
First things first (you know, where they belong).
Almost two weeks ago I dangled before you a bit of required reading (for me, not for you, naturally). Smashed was its name and it was challenged at my library. I've had the book done for almost a week now and have failed on the most basic of my goals, that of being the Interactivereader. I didn't give you my thoughts as I went along, which was my intention. I have decided that my intention really, well, sucks, and that it takes the fun out of it for me. Luckily, this being the first book (and MY blog) I can easily change intentions that you were unaware of to begin with.
I believe that Smashed was challenged under the mistaken belief that the book was intended for teens. While I personally don't think that it would necessarily be a bad book for that age group, I can understand how some parents would find it... disturbing. Koren led a life, as the subtitle suggests, infused with alcohol and irresponsible behavior. In no way does this book hide what it is about, and in no way does it glorify that lifestyle. That said, it is Adult Non-Fiction. It happened, and just because you think that Koren should have paid a higher price for her choices, does not make her story less valid. There are still valuable lessons to be learned. It is still a cautionary tale of the realistic sort. One can see in it people you know. Once can see how easily people could slide into the cycle. I will not vote for its removal. (Well, duh).
As for what I think? Well, I thought it was sad. Sad in the fact that it was her insecurity that led her to drink. Alcohol may work as liquid confidence, but it is only temporary. Doubt will creep back. It is hard for me to watch, or read, about those who act in a manner I would not. I have no problem with alcohol, but then I'm insufferably responsible. Mostly I felt sorry for Koren, and hope that her abstinence works well for her. I did enjoy how she slipped factoids and commentary into the story in a natural way, enabling depth and intentionally exposing how her story is not unique, which in itself may be the most important revelation.