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There Is No There, There

The title is from a Gertrude Stein Quote: "When you get there, there is no there, there." Books are my favorite form of escapism and the book that can keep me up late at night against reason and sense is a rare and beautiful thing. I like reading because it is a peek into someone's inner life and inner monologue. Whether books want to or not, they are teaching us something about the author's view of what it means to be a woman or person or be in love or be alive. The books that are popular are a commentary on what we value as a society.


Reading Notes

The Elite - Kiera Cass

In a Nutshell: In the 2nd installment of the Selection Trilogy, America finds herself closer to the crown- as well as the two boys who share her heart- and finds herself questioning what she really wants.

My take:
Not as enjoyable as the first. I found America frustrating as she waffled between Aspen and Maxon. No sooner had she made promises or encouragements to one than she was back in the arms of the other. Sure, a girl can be confused and not know what she wants, but maybe she needs to do less kissing and flirting and more soul searching.

I also couldn't stand how many times she broke into tears. Hold it together, woman!

America... is kind of a "taker." She takes from the girls (like getting what she wants to know from Kriss), she takes from the boys (begs their presence, their attention, their comfort, their gifts), she takes from her maids (she always clumps them into "the girls" and even though the author wants to express that America is progressive, she does NOT treat them equally and can be so dismissing and condescending) and I never really see her giving anything back.

My complaint from the first book stands- the author states facts about America, but we never see them in action (and I can't stand the random paragraphs about history- they feel so forced). "I'm a FIVE afterall," etc. but she ACTS so privileged, so dismissive, so condescending (see note about how she treats her maids). She is not a strong strike out on her own character, she is always begging for help from others. Even with her philanthropy project, she's stumped and tries to get her ideas from Maxon and Aspen. No! Sit! Think! Do this ONE THING ALL BY YOURSELF!

And yet... yes, I will be tuning in to see the conclusion. I feel oddly compelled to know how things end for Maxon. He's the one character keeping me reading.