Aly in Wonderland

The Sound

The Sound - Sarah Alderson "And that," she says, still pointing, "is the Sound."
"The what?"
"The ocean," Brodie says, still pointing. I squint at the thin strip of blue that I can see glimmering invitingly just beyond the flats. "It's called the Sound," Brodie repeats, and then turning to me she adds solemnly, "People die there all the time."

Aye, papi. When I picked this book up, I expected mystery, romance, a little bit of terror and a conclusion that would rock my socks off. Unfortunately, I was repeatedly slapped in the vagina with a vapid, passive, silly main character, party-hard boys that follow their dicks and a hint of mystery.

A hint of mystery, which makes me sad. The Nantucket Nanny Murders is mentioned in passing, and doesn't do much for the story whatsoever. Instead, we're given an explosion of HORMONEZZZZ!!11!1 Because at seventeen, if you're a virgin it means you're probably a nun and have cobwebs down below. And if you do have sex, you're a slut or a "skanktron" (I love that insult!). If this was marketed as a romance, then I would probably have liked it more... but a mystery?


The Story:

Aspiring music journalist Ren Kensington takes a job nannying for a wealthy family on the exclusive island of Nantucket. She goes there with the idea of getting away from a sleazebag ex-boyfriend, so boys are totally off the cards...


... partying is a big no-no, because Ren must absolutely concentrate on working on her blog...


... and, of course, she must stay far, far away from the local bad boy, without judging him first.


Ren doesn't like to judge. In fact, she's the definition of non-judgemental.

You should come. If you think you can cope with slumming it with townies." I frown up at him. What is that supposed to mean? Is it because he saw me with Sophie? Does he think I'm one of them? A preppie rah? Immediately I feel my hackles rise. It makes me mad. It's like when people think you're an emo or an indie kid or a trancehead - why this need to classify? Why can't you like all types of music, and hang out with all different types of people (OK, except the tranceheads)?

She is not a Mary Sue, AT ALL!

I look in the other direction. He's hit a nerve. But I don't want him to know it.
"What?" Jeremy asks, sitting up.
I shake my head. "Nothing."
"No, tell me," he says gently, his hand brushes my knee.
I take a deep breath and look up, feeling my cheeks starting to flare. "I'm just being self conscious. I know I'm not small and cute like a bird."
"Says who?"
"Just someone."
"Someone blind?"
"My ex-boyfriend. He said I had fat thighs."

Girl, you got bigger things to worry about than fat thighs. Nannies are getting murdered, sweetcheeks. And, you know, you're sort-of seeing a guy who put some other guy in a coma, who pleaded guilty for this crime? The one everyone is telling you to stay away from?

Look, this book isn't the worst book I've ever read in my life, and it's not bad, but the priorities are completely messed up, and there is enough hypocrisy to make your eyes bleed.

Here's what I wanted:

-little to no romance.

I don't mind romance in my mysteries but when every other page is Ren making out with Jeremy, or Ren thinking about sexing up Jesse? That's where we've got a problem. Nannies are being murdered (okay, two nannies have been killed, with a year separating them, but whatever) but all Ren worries about is Jesse's "hard, hard chest" and Jeremy's "dazzling, sweet smile".


The Characters:

They are so typical of your average YA, I doubt I even need to describe them. We have:

- Ren. Vapid, dumb, messed up priorities. She's a Mary Sue who trounces every other Mary Sue in the stratosphere. In fact...

I refuse to be a cliché. I refuse, point blank, to fall for the hot, moody guy with anger issues. Is my name Bella Swann? Am I the protagonist of every paranormal romance lining the shelves of Waterstones? No. I am not.
Also, unlike Edward Cullen, the voice in my head pipes up, Jesse most certainly hasn't fallen in insta-love with me and isn't torturing himself over the fact that he can't be with me in case he eats me.

This book's saving grace is the humour, I swear. And the irony. And the hypocrisy. It's all pretty hilarious.

- A four-year-old kid called Brodie who acts more like an eight/nine year old. How many four year olds know what "bases" are and who say...

"What?" He asks. "I'm totally down with the kids."
"No, really you are not," Carrie says.
"No, Dad," Brodie pipes up beside me, "you really aren't down with the kids."
"Put in my place by a four-year-old!"

Would a four year old even know what "down with the kids" means?

- Jeremy Thorne. The Ivy League, sweet, intelligent, hot guy who somehow cannot resist Ren's "fat thighs" or "frigid virginity". He is the image of a dickhead and the representative of "convenient personality swap."

"I want to go home," I say, feeling suddenly stone cold sober and overwhelmingly tired.
Jeremy studies me, pressing his lips together. His expression is hard, quite a way removed from his expression ten minutes ago.
"Can you take me?" I say, hating having to ask.
"I've been drinking," he answers, a small smile at the side of his mouth.
I grind my teeth. He knew I needed a ride home but he still drank. I can't believe it.

- Jesse somethingorother, who apparently likes to beat people up with no reasons, but... hey! I ain't judging, said Ren.

The characters are the biggest stereotypes you will find in YA. You have the "like, omg, like" Sophie who is described as a "preppie rah" (whilst Ren, of course, scorns those who label people), one boy is described as...

Robert Pattinson—if you genetically spliced him with Buzz Lightyear.

And is, of course, an asshole. Then you have the love triangle between Edward Jeremy, Bella Ren and Jacob Jesse, freely sprinkled with an abundance of slut-shaming, more stereotyping, back-stabbing, bitching and talk about sexsexsexsexsex.

Seriously, this book is like an overly long episode of 90210 and definitely not a murder mystery/crime book. It makes me sad because it takes everything that is wrong with society nowadays, rolls them all up into one big, gloopy mess and hands it to you on bound paper with a pretty cover.

Another thing I didn't quite understand was that, apparently, Jesse sister was raped the year before... but because the guy's dad is an amazing attorney, they had "no proof".

For someone who watches a lot of crime shows, I find this hard to believe. The police would've done a rape kit on Hannah (Jesse's sister), and it would've come up with the guy's DNA. That would be enough to lock him up. But no, JESSE HAS TO TAKE THINGS INTO HIS OWN HANDS!!1! He's so cool, because he's going to kill the guy and go to prison, but it's t0tes worth it, yo!

The clichés, the plot conveniences (fucking hell, I saw that "serial killer" from a mile off), the stereotyping and the slut-shaming were almost too much to bear. It was predictable from the get-go. Of COURSE Jeremy turns into a douchecanoe and Ren realises that Jesse is actually a sweetheart. Of COURSE everything is solved within the last 5 pages, leaving ample time for Jesse and Ren to snog like there's no tomorrow. OF COURSE OF COURSE OF COURSE.


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