Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Review: Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby

Hatchett Book Group Early Birds Blog Tour
genre: adult fiction
rating: 3/5
fall reading challenge


Mead is one of those boys - the ones who keep skipping grades because they are so smart, the ones that everything academic comes easily to, the ones who are destined for great things. If only it was that easy for Mead. Growing up the "genius" in his town was a pretty harrowing experience. Combine some worse-than-usual bullying with a kid who has a lot of brains but virtually no social skills and an over-the-top mother and you get: a pretty traumatic childhood. Mead hopes that all this will change when he "grows up" and goes to college at 15, but when we meet him at the beginning of the book, he has just run away from his college graduation.

The book is almost like a mystery - where we know what happens almost at the end but we have no idea how we got there and the book takes us back and forth between the past and the present. I really liked this style and it kept me very interested in the story. It was nearly a thriller, often surprising me with a turn of events and I could tell that the author had really done her homework because the mathematical lingo felt credible (I even threw a few theorems out to my husband who backed her up). While there were a few characters I found very sympathetic, Mead was not one of them. I wanted him to find a way to be happy, but to be honest, his general lack of judgment was very frustrating to me. I think partially I was really hoping for Mead to learn a little bit more about being something more than a "genius," so maybe I just had the wrong expectations for the novel.

I am reminding myself that not everyone can love every book. As much as I wanted to like this one, the coarse language and the portrayals of the underside of college life turned me off too much to love it. For those less sensitive than me, I do think that Jacoby has an interesting story to tell about a boy finding his place both in academia and in his family. Please check out these other reviews to get another opinion on the book :)

http://luanne-abookwormsworld.blogspot.com/
http://bermudaonion.wordpress.com/
http://bookingmama.blogspot.com/
http://libraryqueue.blogspot.com
http://www.marjoleinbookblog.blogspot.com
http://38thavedivareaders.blogspot.com/
http://booksbytjbaff.blogspot.com/
http://www.linussblanket.com
http://diaryofaneccentric.blogspot.com/
http://savvyverseandwit.blogspot.com
http://bananas4books.blogspot.com/
http://printedpage.wordpress.com
http://www.myfriendamysblog.com
http://www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com
http://bransonreads.blogspot.com/
http://www.sjfreed.wordpress.com
http://thetometraveller.blogspot.com/
http://www.chikune.com
http://bookcritiques.blogspot.com/
http://exlibrisbb.blogspot.com/
http://www.sharonlovesbooksandcats.blogspot.com
http://athomewithbooks.blogspot.com/

9 comments:

Serena said...

The underbelly of college life unfortunately is real in many instances, particularly at large universities. I agree that I wish Mead learned more about his place in the world and what he wanted from it other than acceptance--which he was seeking from the wrong person, namely Herman.

Anna said...

Thanks for the honest review. I enjoyed the book for the most part. I was frustrated with Mead at times, but what I really wanted was a more conclusive ending.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

bethany said...

Thanks for being real with us :) and you are so right not all books are for everyone. I love this one so far though!!!

happy reading!

.Books by TJ Baff said...

I loved this book unreservedly...but we are all different.
It is great fun though reading everyone's different take on all of the facets of this story.
Tamara

Luanne said...

This is the great thing about these tours - I am really enjoying seeing all the different views of the same book. Thanks for your review.

DWJ said...

Hi Corinne,
You left a coment on my blog a few days ago about my book, NIGHT OF FLAMES. If you'd like to read and review the book I would be pleased to send a signed copy. Send a mailing address to doug@hjsusa.com.
Douglas W. Jacobson

DWJ said...

Hi Corinne,
You left a coment on my blog a few days ago about my book, NIGHT OF FLAMES. If you'd like to read and review the book I would be pleased to send a signed copy. Send a mailing address to doug@hjsusa.com.
Douglas W. Jacobson

Sheri said...

I wanted to let you know that my post for Life After Genius is actually at www.anovelmenagerie.com... I shut down www.sjfreed.wordpress.com. I am giving away the book if any of your readers are interested.

I liked your review!

Sheri

Veens said...

Good review- and a pretty honest one :-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...