Deep, raw and sometimes uncomfortable – Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian

Posted 8 October, 2013 by Danny in Blog, Danny, Danny's Book Review / 15 Comments

Deep, raw and sometimes uncomfortable – Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian

Sex & Violence

by Carrie Mesrobian (Website, Twitter)
Published by Lerner Publishing Group on October 1st 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonGoodreads
4 Stars
AT FIRST YOU DON'T SEE THE CONNECTION.

Sex has always come without consequences for seventeen-year-old Evan Carter. He has a strategy--knows the profile of The Girl Who Would Say Yes. In each new town, each new school, he can count on plenty of action before he and his father move again. Getting down is never a problem. Until he hooks up with the wrong girl and finds himself in the wrong place at very much the wrong time.

AND THEN YOU CAN'T SEE ANYTHING ELSE.

After an assault that leaves Evan bleeding and broken, his father takes him to the family cabin in rural Pearl Lake, Minnesota, so Evan's body can heal. But what about his mind?

HOW DO YOU GO ON, WHEN YOU CAN'T THINK OF ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER?

Nothing seems natural to Evan anymore. Nothing seems safe. The fear--and the guilt--are inescapable. He can't sort out how he feels about anyone, least of all himself. Evan's really never known another person well, and Pearl Lake is the kind of place where people know everything about each other--where there might be other reasons to talk to a girl. It's annoying as hell. It might also be Evan's best shot to untangle sex and violence

With such a provocative title I was intrigued only by this two powerful words and that … this is supposed to be a Young Adult novel!

When something meaningless turns into something that can break you …

Evan only has his dad and with him he’s moving from town to town since he’s very young. He’s always the New Guy and doesn’t find it necessary to form friendships. But, with his looks he has it easy with girls and that is where he focuses on. Getting laid, having meaningless sex with girls is easy for him and doesn’t need him to  attach to some people on a personal level. Good for him.

But.. then he messes around with the wrong girl and this gets him beaten up really really bad! Finally, his dad wakes up and takes Evan to heal to his former childhood home to spend the summer…

 

Broken and detached …

After this, Evan is broken and I must say I was right there with him. I must admit that from the blurb I expected Evan to have done something wrong, something that he somehow deserved what happened to him. But.. this is not true! Sure, he was a man-whore but, the girl he messed around him was just as a victim in the end as he was! It was horrible what happened to him and Evan is left completely broken, a shell of his former self.

This story follows Ethan on his path to heal and also come to terms with who he his and who he would rather want to me. Even though he didn’t deserve being nearly beaten to death, he was using girls without any emotional attachment and here in this idyllic summer place at the lake he begins to slowly understand and deal with this emotional detachment.

It is also helping that he finally finds some friends and also has for the first time a friend who is a girl!  Painfully slow be begins to heal and to change his patterns of thinking.

 

Deep, raw and sometimes.. uncomfortable.

The whole story was very deep and made us very uncomfortable at times. Evans thoughts are not filtered, he’s sometimes a dick and a jerk, he cusses at a lot and again, he often sees girls just for a way to get laid. But, I liked the way the author gave us a glimpse inside Evan’s head without any filter in-between. I think many young males thoughts are highly similar yet it often is filtered when delivered to us.

I would have wished for Evan to open up and face his problems a little earlier, as we are spending 80% of the book with Evan avoiding his fears and even doing  the same mistakes again. I loved Baker, the girl who was his first friend and I just wished he would have talked to her.  Also, as so often the ending then felt so rushed and I just wished for a small glimpse into Evan’s future. Did he change? Did he finally get a girlfriend he can be emotional and trusting with? All this was left out and made me feel a little sad not knowing..

Also, one small thing that bothered me was that he finally got better after taking medication. I am not sure which message this is supposed to be, that you can only get better when taking a pill, that sometimes you have to take pills to be better? I’m not sure and would have hoped he would be able to deal with his fears by trusting his shrink instead of taking medication….

 

Warning: this book even though labels as Young Adult deals with sex, drugs, alcohol and violence. 

Bewitched Rating

Bottom Line

Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian was a powerful, raw and sometimes uncomfortable story that was deliciously unfiltered and frighteningly  genuine.

 

 New Adult contemporary

Additional Info

As Carrie Mesrobian debut was so impressive I can’t wait to read her next story which is called “Perfectly Good White Boy” and comes with an exciting blurb:
The crisis of teenage entitlement, following a high school senior whose only solution for the lonely, useless future he fears is to join the Marines.
Do you also love when stories push boundaries? When a story goes beyond what everyone expected? Sex & Violence definitely was surprising and pushes lots of boundaries! 
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15 Responses to “Deep, raw and sometimes uncomfortable – Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian”

  1. Danny, I just don’t know if this is a book for me! Pushing my boundaries is good (though, of course, I’m very comfortable in my little space…) but I don’t know if I’d be able to stick with a character like Evan. But maybe that’s the point.

    • Yes, I think that is the point here. Evan is truly a victim, but also he’s quite of a complicated person who needs to grow and a face his issues. I truly can recommend it when you’re in the mood for it:)

  2. Hmmmm. I’m not sure about this one Danny! I think this is one of those books I’ll need to be in the right mood for because it sounds like a challenging read for sure. I do like that Evan’s thoughts aren’t filtered and that the way he feels about women is probably pretty accurate for a teenage boy, but like you said, that doesn’t mean it makes it any less uncomfortable to read about. Loved reading your thoughts on it though!

  3. By the title, I thought this was some sort of BDSM book, but after reading the synopsis I actually might pick up a copy! Usually you see females as the victims in YA novels – I think it’s important to show that males can be assaulted as well.

    Definitely sounds like it’s worth the read, even if I’ll be a bit uncomfortable at times!

  4. I liked this books too, but I wanted Evan to mature a bit more, a bit sooner too. And, I needed more from the ending. I wasn’t comfortable enough with where Evan was. My review if you are interested.

  5. What an impressive sounding debut, any book that can be that powerful and raw is bound to be somewhat uncomfortable, but sometimes those are the ones that make you really think outside the box. I like that Evan finally changes his thinking, and Baker’s character sounds like the perfect counterpart (friend). Thanks for sharing-I hadn’t heard of Sex & Violence yet, but your review broke it down perfectly! 🙂
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