Friday, August 26, 2011

The Instructions

In honor of finishing The Instructions by Adam Levin, I am today wearing this somewhat fall-time outfit, complete with a hoodie.
Flower pin (in my hair, can't see it in this picture) - Nordstrom Rack, Blue short-sleeved hoodie - Lacoste, Bracelet - Present from Husband, Belt - Banana Republic (Present from Mom), Chain belt (difficult to see in picture) - Nordstrom Rack (Present from Mom), Skirt - H&M, Blue boots - Frye
See? There's my hood.
I love hoodies.
But how did I feel about the book?
I felt like, Yippee! I finally finished The Instructions. Not that it was a chore. Far from it—this 1,030 page book is an amazingly fast read when you get into it. Unfortunately, I was most often trying to read it right before bed, only able to tackle 5 to 10 pages, then fall asleep. Ugh. Why wasn’t this available on the Kindle? I couldn’t carry it around in my purse, it couldn’t hang out in the bathtub, it was even actually a problem to read in bed because it’s heavy. I very nearly dropped it on my own head one night and gave myself a concussion.

So, review time.

Okay, almost the whole time I was thinking, 5 stars all the way. Incredibly original, great characters, laugh out loud funny, the details and dialogue just slayed me. And because I haven’t read David Foster Wallace (I know, what’s wrong with me, yaddayadda), I wasn’t comparing it and feeling like, Oh, this is similar. I was just thinking, Daaaaaaamn.

Then…the war kicks off with **SPOILER** Gurion penny gunning a freakin wingnut right into Boystar’s molars and all hell breaks loose. Call me stupid but I felt like, What the what what?! These kids have all been beating on each other the entire book and I still felt shocked by the violence that ensues for the last couple hundred pages. Desormie dies?! I mean, yeah, he was a complete jerk and we all hated him, but wow, that was brutal. I kind of got over it, but then Levin beats you over the head with the same detail provided when we heard charming stories about slap-slap, except this time, it’s all about how the Side and their allies lock down the school. Then Berman and his buddies…I can’t even say it. Even though I warned you about spoilers, I can’t say what Berman and his cronies did. I whisper screamed, “NOOOOOOOOO. Nononononononono!” Sigh. Then all of us go to hear scripture and it ends and I still felt like, Whhhhaaaaaaat?

Anyway, back to positive things. Adam Levin, I cannot get over the dialogue and monologues that go on in this book. I cannot get over how much I love Main Man and Vincie Portite. And Ben-Wa. How can you not love Ben-Wa?

Okay, here is what I’ve decided, Levin. If you just wrote a Book the Never Ended, I would probably give that 5 stars. But you had to end this book, and you did it somewhat ambiguously, and I felt unsatisfied, probably because I could have read more about the Cage and Gurion’s awesome parents and We Damage We and the budding romance with June and lots more monologues from Vincie just filled with the f word and silly grown-ups like Call-Me-Sandy. We could have kept going with this, Adam Levin, forever and ever because I liked all of these little stories within the story. Or we could have just kept going until we had an ending that made sense. I don’t care if it took another day to wrap up—what? Would that just have been another 300 pages of genius? That’s fine. But whatever we have here is bringing this book down to a 3.5 stars.

Finally, when Levin/Gurion is talking to us about reading a book, and you reread it because you love it, but it’s never the same experience because now you’re dissecting things, etc., I thought, Oh Adam Levin, you clever man. You know for the last 1,000 pages, I have been thinking I need to reread this. Put it on the darn Kindle and I just might.


  1. Thanks! The best part was that it took two minutes. Plugged in a small curling iron, bunned the hair, pinned in the flower, curled three sections of hair around my face for about 10 seconds each, and done!