Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Review: Exit Here by Jason Myers

Summary: Travis is back from college for the summer, and he's just starting to settle in to the usual pattern at home: drinking, drugging, watching porn, and hooking up.
But Travis isn't settling in like he used to; something isn't right. Maybe it's that deadly debauch in Hawaii, the memories of which Travis can't quite shake. Maybe it's Laura, Travis's ex, who reappears on the scene after a messy breakup and seems to want to get together -- or not. Or maybe it's his suddenly sensing how empty and messed up his life is, and wanting out.
But once you're at the party, it's tough to leave...

Kim's Review: "I lean closer to her, planting my hands above her shoulders, and we rub the tips of our tongues together. 'Spit in my mouth,' she says. I draw a glob of saliva to the front of my mouth and drop it into hers. 'Awesome,' she swallows." Ah, young love...

God, am I glad to have finished this book. This is probably one of the top five worst books I've ever read...I don't think I've ever rated a book one star before! When I read the author's note I learned that Exit Here is his first book - and you know, I suppose it's understandable that an author's first book isn't that great. But dear God! This is a longer book, around 450 pages, and there was little to no character development at all until the last fifty pages or so. The plot was so frustratingly redundant - let's have sex with a bunch of girls, snort line after line of cocaine, get drunk, and listen to music, and then do it all over again for the next 400 pages!

The protagonist and narrator, Travis, is an asshole. This is partly because of the writing - I don't feel like I learned anything about his actual personality. All I know is that he's addicted to drugs and wants his girlfriend back. Also, there were one or two occasions where his friends are literally like, "hey, remember that one time we gang-raped that unconscious girl when we were thirteen years old?" I'M NOT EVEN EXAGGERATING, that is an actual thing that these characters did. And if that wasn't enough to enrage me, neither the protagonist nor his friend showed any sign of remorse about it. It was just like "Haha, yeah, those were the days, huh?" Are you kidding me?! Because of things like that, I couldn't even bring myself to feel bad for Travis when something bad happened to him.
In the end of the book--SPOILER ALERT, but it doesn't really matter because you do not want to read this book--he decides to stop using drugs out of nowhere. I mean, that's good, but why? What was his motivation? What made him want to stop all of a sudden? The author doesn't even tell you.

There were also a few things about the writing that annoyed me. Every time there was a break in a conversation, the author felt the need to emphasize this by saying "<i>Pause.</i>" This happened on just about every single page. It got irritating after a while, and I feel like this book could have been at least twenty pages shorter if you just took out all the "pauses." For some reason the author also decided not to use quotation marks whenever Travis spoke. This made it confusing because sometimes it was hard to tell whether the character was speaking out loud or just thinking.

So, if you enjoy books that lack character development and a decent plot, boy, have I got a read for you! If you're like me and enjoy dynamic characters and good writing, then I'd pass on this one.

(Also - why are my negative reviews always the longest?)

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