Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner

Published July 1, 2010.

Teen Genius (and Hermit)

Carrie Pilby's To Do List:

1. List 10 things you love (and DO THEM!)
2. Join a club (and TALK TO PEOPLE!)
3. Go on a date (with someone you actually LIKE!)
4. Tell someone you care (your therapist DOESN’T COUNT!)
5. Celebrate New Year’s (with OTHER PEOPLE!)

Seriously? Carrie would rather stay in bed than deal with the immoral, sex-obsessed hypocrites who seem to overrun her hometown, New York City. She’s sick of trying to be like everybody else. She isn’t! But when her own therapist gives her a five-point plan to change her social-outcast status, Carrie takes a hard look at herself—and agrees to try.

Suddenly the world doesn’t seem so bad. But is prodigy Carrie really going to dumb things down just to fit in?


It sounds pretty quirky and fun but when I got into it, all I got was an irredeemable character that was too good for everyone else and really wasn't willing to change.

I wanted to like Carrie. I really did. But I hated being in her head. I just can't empathize with someone that's genius enough to give Stephen Hawking a run for his money but can't figure out how or why she needs to NOT be a douche to people. Maybe it's because I'm not smart enough to understand that kind of smart. Or maybe I refuse to believe that someone that smart is so lacking in common sense. I've heard the notion that people that smart are void of street smarts and common sense. Maybe I'd like to think a person's parents would do a better job of raising their kid to not be such a prick despite their intelligence. I don't know.

Just her entire perspective on life, how she viewed other people, how she treated other people, how she felt it was her mission to right people and put them in their places, it really bothered me. I can guess that she sees the light at the end of the book but I couldn't stick around to find out. Maybe if the book were in third person it would be a little more tolerable but actually being in first, and being inside her head, I just couldn't get over how crappy of a person she was.

Of course there are multiple sides to a story and I liked the way this story was told; just not who it was about. If you can hang in there long enough you might just like it. You're going to have to put up with a pretty lame person, though. And it's not someone that's lovably lame. Carrie's just ick. I couldn't relate in the slightest. I couldn't see redemption for her and I couldn't hold out any longer.
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