I officially finished my fourth semester of graduate studies last month and I decided to celebrate my summer freedom by picking up books that I wanted to read for once and simply indulge in one of my favorite activities: staying up super late on Friday and Saturday nights reading in the dark with a book light until I can’t keep my eyes open. There’s something about the dark that just improves the atmosphere for me with reading. If its something academic, it let’s the information sink in without distraction. If it’s an adventure, I feel as if I’m plunged into a new world as little of my own surrounds me. If you’ve never considered reading in the dark, get yourself a good book light and give it a try. You won’t be sorry.
Disclaimer: I will not be held responsible for the heebie jeebies you may feel if you read anything scary/creepy/repulsive.
The first book I picked up was outside of the realm of normal for me. The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson. A friend had given it to me for a birthday present a few years back because he knew I enjoyed the movie version of The Men Who Stare At Goats (book originally by Ronson as well). This book not only gave me some interesting stories, but some disturbing facts and studies as well. Ronson dives into the world of psychology himself and works to discover just how one diagnoses a psychopath in a world that is in a constant state of chaos mixed with stress, insanity, and at times, bits of brilliance.
Here is where I made my mistake, however. Following the reading of The Psychopath Test, I downloaded Justine Larbalestier’s Liar on the recommendation of a friend who raved about it. Big mistake. Here’s why…
I tend to have a mindset that once I finish a book, it’s hard for me to move on into the next one because my brain is still focused on the other one. So as I’m reading through Liar, I found myself trying to diagnose the protagonist, Micah, as a psychopath. For most books, this would be a mild aggravation. For this book, however, it made me want to throw my Kindle across the room more than once. And don’t even get me started on part two!
[cools down, avoids spoiler alert]
Micah tells you first thing that she is a liar as she starts to narrate her tale, so you are already in a mindset not to believe a word she says. Between trying to tell truth from lie and what is what, you have no time to decide if she is a psychopath!
Here’s the honest truth. I’m not sure I enjoyed Liar. Without giving too much away, I can tell you that the layout of the novel was a bit choppy for me (that’s the editor in me speaking), I wanted to stop reading the book because I hated the wild accusations so much, but once I had gotten to that point, I had to finish. Then by the end, I couldn’t tell what was what. And maybe that’s what Larbalestier (and Micah) wanted. But for me, it left me questioning far too much and feeling uncomfortable with the book as a whole. If you are someone who likes guessing games, I’ll say give it a shot. But if you want a protagonist who is fairly straightforward (and not a possibly psychopath), then I’d steer clear.
After that mind f***, I’m ready for a nice easy read. Maybe I’ll open up a Where’s Waldo for the next week and give myself a blank slate.