Thursday, February 27, 2020

Wordy Thursday: Opaque



Genre: 
Young Adult/Paranormal Romance/Sci-Fi

Rating: 
Three out of Four stars for Online Book Club, 
Three out of Five stars for Amazon

Disclosure:
If readers purchase a copy of this book through the above link, I will earn a small commission from Amazon.
This review is a duplicate of my Amazon review for this book.
I received an advance copy of this book for review purposes.

Read my exclusive Online Book Club review for this book here.

This story has a fascinating premise and compelling characters. Adam is a young man who is unaware that he has superhuman abilities until Carly comes to his school and teaches him the truth about himself. Adam initially presents as potentially being a sociopath and certain of his actions and their consequences (or lack thereof) are the reasons why I question whether this book should be categorized as a young adult novel although the protagonists are teenagers.

Adam experiences romantic attraction to his mother. Although the author avoids graphic detail, incestuous fantasies are a rather taboo subject, perhaps best left in adult fiction. At one point, Adam's disturbing behavior leads to the death of a young woman and he suffers no real consequences for his actions. I found this plot device unsettling.

The book suffers to a degree from The Twilight Problem. "You can redeem the bad boy" is a terrible message to be imparting to young girls. Carly, Adam's love interest, is so concerned with saving Adam that she ignores his abusive and violent actions. For a female character to be completely wrapped up in saving a significant other who presents a danger to her sends a dangerous and frankly sexist message. I am frustrated by stories which present female characters only as foils and helpmates to badly behaved males.

Further, I was appalled by the frequent references to Carly's apparently ample yet shapely buttocks and to the scene describing her stripping down to her underclothes. I found it unsettling to be reading a voyeuristic description of a teenage girl undressing.

I nearly stopped reading this book when the author made the unfortunate decision to use a psychological condition as an adjective to describe certain of Adam's behaviors that Carly found irritating.

"She sighs at his bipolar actions.”

The author is using the term "bipolar" to mean mercurial or changeable, and this is an utterly offensive thing to do. Individuals who live with bipolar disorder are as varied in their behaviors as those who do not have this condition. I am 55 years old and have type 2 bipolar disorder. I do not tend to present as mercurial or changeable and, in fact, I tend to present as staid and sedate. What people do not see below the surface is the fact that I am constantly fighting against low self-esteem and suicide ideation. The battles of me and others with this serious psychiatric condition should not be reduced to an adjective describing undesirable behavior on the part of a character in a novel. To do so is extremely dismissive and insulting. I would hope that no-one would ever say something like "she sighs at his cancer actions" to describe the behaviors of a person who is weak and tired. Why in the world would anyone think it's okay to do this sort of thing regarding psychiatric conditions?

Although I found the characters compelling, to a degree I also found them two-dimensional. Adam's father was the only character who wasn't Hollywood-pretty.


If the reader can overlook these faults, they will likely be drawn into the story. It is probably okay for older teens to read this book, but I would advise against giving it to anyone under sixteen.



Image copyright Open Clipart Vectors



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