Tuesday, October 8, 2013

ANYWHERE BUT HERE by Tanya Lloyd Kyi

Rating: F
Release Date: 10/15/13
Cole’s small town is a trap he’s determined to escape in this fresh and moving debut novel that balances loss with humor.

Ever since his mom died, Cole just feels stuck. His dad acts like a stranger, and Lauren, his picture-perfect girlfriend of two years, doesn’t understand him anymore. He can’t ditch his dad, so Cole breaks up with Lauren. She doesn’t take the news very well, and Cole’s best friend won’t get off his case about it.

Now more than ever, Cole wants to graduate and leave his small, suffocating town. And everything is going according to plan—until Cole discovers the one secret that could keep him there…forever.

My thoughts on the book:
Anywhere But Here had the capacity to be something great, but instead ended up bordering on misogynism. The main character is an emotionally abusive male who is self-absorbed and immature. His father is even worse. Women are nothing more than sex toys in this book, and that disgusted me. Cole could have grown, left home, and really become something, but instead he decides his hometown isn't so bad (please). I thought I'd be able to relate to this book because I absolutely loathe where I grew up. I got out of there as soon as I was old enough and haven't looked back once, and you know what? I'm a better person because of it. It's okay to hate where you live and to better your situation. Authors need to learn that. Instead of making some big social statement, this book simply states that women are only good for sex and it's okay that men are self-absorbed wrecks because they can't help it. This is not a book that I'd recommend to anyone. 

Cole is obnoxious, self-absorbed, and useless. I really did not like him at all. All he does is run around feeling sorry for himself. When he's not doing that, he's treating the people around him like crap. It's pretty terrible. His new girlfriend reduces herself to a doormat to please him, and still all he can do is feel sorry for himself. It's pathetic. He's pathetic, and he demeans those around him until they are pathetic. His father is even worse. Instead of mourning his wife like an adult would, he starts drinking and screwing a stripper. Great influence for his piece of crap son, huh? None of the characters in this book is likable, which make the novel a chore to get through. 

This novel brings up some important social issues such as teen pregnancy, depression, and alcoholism, but none of the characters become strong through these situations. Nope. They all continue down their pathetic path to misery and don't really seem to grow at all. Of course Cole changes some, but not enough to make him a decent human. His father's alcoholism could have really meant something, too, but Kyi didn't let it. The writing is decent and the pacing is fine, but the characters ruin this story. 

Overall, I'd say avoid this book unless you want to get really, really angry at the characters and spend hours yelling at your novel/e-reader. It's just not worth it. The representation of women alone is enough to turn anyone off. 

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