Monday, September 24, 2012

Bullyville, by Francine Prose

This book was ok, not great.  In its defense I had no idea what I was picking up when I saw it.  The bold title BULLYVILLE stood out on the cover and I grabbed it impulsively and threw it in the stack of the books I’d check out of the library that day.  This happens to me on occasion, although I have nearly 700 books on my ‘to read’ list already; I’m still prone to impulse grabs.  I’m rarely disappointed by these last minute additional selections.  In fact, I’ve discovered some of my favorite authors that way, like Cecilia Ahern and Jennifer Weiner.  If I hadn’t stumbled upon their books accidentally I’d never have found them.  Unfortunately, my instincts were off on this one.  I had just read an amazing book about bullying called Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers and so the idea of a book about bullying was appealing.  Perhaps I should have known that it would be hard to live up to the predecessor. 

Bullyville is actually about a kid whose family survives the tragedy of 9/11, but not in fully in tact.  He ends up at a private school well-known for its bully problem.  The story revolves around his issues at school and home and has a rather boring ending.  That being said, I wouldn’t fault Prose’s writing style for any of Bullyville’s faults.  It was more a lack of creativity than poor sentence structure.  The plotline had such potential that it was sad to see it fall so far short of great. In the end I wouldn’t really recommend this book.  It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great.  

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