What's Going On Here?

There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Will You Friend Me?

Friend is Not a Verb is a great title.  Even though friend really has become a verb, it is nice to remember that maybe friend really shouldn't be a verb. I use that phrase a lot, myself. Or I used to, when I was still into Facebook. Now I like Quora and tumblr better, actually. And you don't "friend" anyone on those sites, so I'm not verbing friend as much as I did a few years ago. Regardless, friend has become a verb. So this is a very profound title for a book that, while enjoyable, isn't all that profound. But that doesn't mean I'm putting it down for its lack of...what...profundity. Yes. Actually that's the first time I've ever used that word! Ah back to my point- book doesn't need to be profound to be enjoyable.   I mean, look at how much I enjoyed the Private and Privilege series!  They were great fun, but not profound.
I liked the main character, Henry.  He seems like a decent guy.  Not a happy guy though.  Mostly he fantasizes about being a famous rock star, even though he doesn't play the bass all that well.  He lives in a fantasy word because things aren't so hot at home.  His sister, a recent college grad, upped and disappeared for a year with four of her college friends.  As the book begins, his sister has returned home, but won't tell Henry where she was because she is still working out the legal details and she and her friends are running from the law.  One of the guys who disappeared and returned with his sister, Gabriel, is now Henry's bass teacher, but mostly they talk about life.  Still, Henry remains the only person in his family who does not know the truth about his sister's little trip and return. 
At first I couldn't really understand why Henry cared so much about where his sister went, since she had returned and his parents seemed happy and so it could pretty much be assumed that all was going to be okay and it was just odd thing that his sister did with her friends.  Then I thought that maybe he cared so much because he really didn't want to face his own struggles and concerns in life.  His lack of friends, mediocre grades, low-level depression, an ex-girlfriend who is a self-absorbed wanna be rock star and the fact that he might be falling in love with the girl he has always just considered to be his best friend. 
All in all I didn't find the characters to be too interesting, especially the sister and Gabriel.  And when the ending was revealed, I guess I was embarrassed because a review said that smart readers would figure out what was going on, but I hadn't.  I am not sure if I am just not smart enough to figure it out or if I just couldn't believe that the reason was that...well...blah. 
It sounds like I really didn't like this book, but you know...that's not true at all.  I would read another book by Dan Ehrenhaft, for sure.  And Henry can be very funny, well most of the time, if not all of the time.  So I guess I will just leave it at that!  It was a decent book. 

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