The Tenth Circle, by Jodi Picoult (29 November — 1 December)

You know, I really don’t know why I keep reading Jodi Picoult. I mean, My Sister’s Keeper was awesome, and so were a couple other of her novels, but after reading something like six or seven of them those fancy plot twists are getting a little predictable and also contrived and annoying.

And yet I still enjoy them. I think it’s the same love I have for watching Law and Order on Sunday nights… I know that I’m probably not going to learn anything in the end, but it’s just so nice to let the story flow over me.

This one, though, I don’t know. It’s about a 14-year-old girl called Trixie (no, really) who gets dumped by her boyfriend, Jason, and then has some breakup sex with him at her friend Zephyr’s (no, REALLY) party, after not playing a game of “let’s be whores and give everyone blowjobs.”

That’s where the bad started, I think. The book was written in 2006, so this girl and her schoolmates would be around my brother’s age, and unless things really changed in three years or that’s just how they do it up in Maine, I can’t really be convinced that giving blowjobs is a party game. I guess maybe my brother and I just weren’t popular enough to be whores. Crying shame, that.

But! Taking that as fact, we then have Trixie coming home and declaring that Jason raped her. Okay, that sucks. And since Jason is the star of the hockey team, everyone (including 13 anonymous teachers at their high school) supports Jason over Trixie. That’s also bad news.

Oh, and at the same time, Trixie’s dad, Daniel, is coming to terms with the fact that his wife had an affair and also penning a comic book/graphic novel (not really clear which) called The Tenth Circle about a dad who loses his daughter to hell and has to find her with the help of Virgil. Did I mention that his wife is teaching a class on Dante? And, of course, Daniel is also worried that his wild, ass-kicking past is going to come back in full force if he ever has to see Jason.

There’s just… there’s a lot here. And while the story is definitely engrossing, as are all of Picoult’s stories, it’s just not satisfying in the end.

Well. Anyway. To be honest, I really should have stopped reading when Picoult claimed there were yellow Pixy Stix. Let’s get some fact-checking up in here, people.

Rating: 5/10
(Countdown Challenge: 2006)

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