Saturday, August 13, 2011
Tender Morsels: I Didn't Even Get Past Chapter 2
Tender Morsels, by Margo Lanagan, has been highly praised and lauded as a mature YA novel. However, within the prologue and first two chapters the reader encounters a teenage boy's first sexual experience (nothing wrong with it just, you know, it's the first thing that happens in a fairy tale story), incest, abortion, childbirth, and gang rape.
Yeah. Within the first two chapters of a young adult novel. WTF?
Tender Morsels is apparently a re-telling of Grimm's Snow-White and Rose-Red, and I guess the two children born of incest and rape live in a protected dream world where they encounter a man-turned-bear and a dwarf, and eventually learn how to break through the barrier of their world and into the real world. I'm told by the Publisher's Weekly review that there are also suggestions of bestiality and sodomy later on in the novel. I didn't get that far.
The plot moved very slowly (I actually skimmed the last couple of pages of chapter 2 just to see if anything would actually happen) and the language was impeding. Instead of making me feel like I was transported into another time and place, I was just annoyed.
So, yeah. Not a fan. Maybe I just don't get it. But generally speaking, when I pick up a YA novel I have a general idea of what I can expect inside, and this just wasn't it. At all.