Monday, September 12, 2011
The Marbury Lens
By Andrew Smith
Unlike many books I have read, the cover is not at all deceiving. Yes, this book does indeed involve a pair of purplish glasses. And a boy. And a place called Marbury. But no, steampunk fanatics, the glasses in the book aren't actually that cool looking. Give or take.
But, anyway, onto the point of this review. Jack is a boy, perhaps 18, who very early in the book experiences a life-changing encounter with a kidnapper who on the surface appears to be a helpful and experienced doctor. Later on, he is thrust into the mysterious, violent, and desert-like world of Marbury where he has a few violent adventures that are too tedious to describe in my sleep-deprived state.
After the kidnapper, the book seems to become quite depressing. As Jack becomes more enraptured with Marbury rather than his real life, he reminds me of a hopeless drug addict spinning towards even worse things, if there were even any worse things.
After I read my last book that had a few depressing things in it, I got this book which was just filled with even more depressing things. I need a break from it now. It's even hard for me to think of how the resolution of this book could be positive at all. Perhaps it is, or perhaps not. Maybe it's neutral. This book gave me quite a bit to figure out- that can be both a good and bad thing. Good, because it has depth, meaning, and other 'deep' stuff. Bad, because it's damn confusing sometimes (and I haven't figured out that much yet; there's not much else to say here).
However, this does not mean the story wasn't put together well. The concept of Marbury, the plot, and Jack's character has obvious development and while it did not make me feel like the happiest person in the world, it was nonetheless a story worth reading. It's not meant for the faint of heart; it has some heavy topics meant for older teens. I can imagine some people disliking this book. Others, I can imagine enjoying and respecting it. Like I already mentioned, this book has some very violent scenes, some sex, some emotion, some gore, some death, some salt and sugar, a cup of milk... Not tons of violence, but a bunch. Personally, I enjoyed this book- but if you're to read it, try to keep an open mind. This book is not about pain and death; it is about a boy and a snippet of his life.
To sum it all up, it was interesting, saddening, and a bit confusing, but I liked it anyway. If you liked the apocalyptic and dystopian style of the Hunger Games and are willing to combine it with a slightly emo guy named Jack, I think you may enjoy this book. As a food, it would be a lemonade or a sharp lemon tart. It's tasty, but lemons are fickle. You may enjoy the flavor and some sweetness, but the bitterness still resides. I proclaim this book to be rated as a 3.