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Monday, September 28, 2009

(Re)cycler - good for recycling and not much else

I previously reviewed Lauren McLaughlin's Cycler here on Bunsnip. To refresh your memories, that's the adolescent novel about the teenage girl, Jill, who turns into a teenage boy, Jack, during what would be a normal girl's menstrual cycle. On the plus side, she doesn't have to acquaint herself with tampons, but on the downside, well, she has to be a boy 5 days out of the month. And boys are icky. But throw in the complications that Jack is in lust with Jill's best friend, Ramie, while Jill is in love with Tommy, a boy who identifies as bisexual, while Jack is homophobic... and things get a little interesting. Altogether, I thought Cycler was a fun little vehicle for exploring gender and sexuality issues, even if it was a bit heavy on the teenspeak.

So I've been waiting with baited breath for the sequel, which I expected to be just as fun and interesting as Cycler. My copy of (Re)cycler came in the mail on Thursday, and I finished it Sunday night (along with the rest of my pertinent law school reading through Tuesday's assignments, in case you were wondering whether I've gotten off task. There are only so many wordy legalese-y cases you can read before you just need to unwind with a smutty teenage novel).

Much to my disappointment, (Re)cycler never got good. It never even got remotely interesting. There was one moment of tension between Jill and best friend Ramie where I was like, these girls should just do it and get it over with already, but then Ramie flew off to London for the rest of the novel. Homoerotic tension aside, I guess I just expected this novel to have a full-circle type of feel like the first one, with a little bit of hmm-I-never-thought-of-it-like-that thrown in for good measure, and complete with a sense of purpose once you reach the end. Instead, there were introductions of irrelevant and flat characters who didn't really add any interest value to the story, and at the end of the novel, I don't really feel like our heroine/hero have grown. I feel like things that should have been tied up are left flapping in the wind, while things I couldn't care less about have been resolved (so what?).

So, in sum, don't bother with this one. Go ahead and read Cycler if you haven't already; I still think it's good. (You can read the first three chapters for free at McLaughlin's website.) But (Re)cycler belongs nowhere but the recycling bin.

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1 comment:

Dena said...

I've never heard of either book. I'll definitely check out Cycler. Thanks :)

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