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Friday, June 24, 2011

Book Review: First Love

Joyce Carol Oates

Reading level: Young Adult
Publisher: Ecco (August 1, 1997)
Paperback: 86 pages

First Love tells the tale of Josie, a young girl who has ran away with her mother to family she has never met before. This tale of twisted nightmares, vividly traces a child’s enchantment with her tormentor. A psychological tale of misinterpreted love and abuse.
I have to, I don’t usually read books like this. I first read this book back in 2008 just around the time Twilight became big. I had read the books and I really need something else- a change from the vampire romances. After browsing around Amazon for a long time, somehow, I ended up on the page for First love. Like I said before, I’m not one for gushy romances, so I really didn’t jump at it and say, “Hey, I have to read this!”. I liked the cover-art which led me to read the summary. I’m a big psychology nerd and usually all psychology related books are more like crime books that are just boring to me. But then I found this amazingly-amazing-awesomely-awesome book. There is just no other way to describe it.
It took me a short time to read it- hello it’s a novella- and I enjoyed every word. It was different and mysterious and strange. I’ve read it several times since then and I still can’t put it down.I love the way JCO presents these characters and the almost sickening, yet captivating ways she illustrates the stark landscape of family secrets, religious fervor, violations of trust, psychological manipulation, and sexual obsession.
I didn’t really like the obscurity of Josie’s POV, but it’s also something I love about the book.
A tale that makes you think. Highly recommended!

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