Author: Patty Blount
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: August 2012
Rating: 3 stars
My first book of 2015!!!!
20 pages in, I was convinced I’d end up giving this book 2 stars. 20 more pages, I was so tempted to put the book down and never pick it back up again. In fact, I put it down for three days and tried to dig up some motivation to continue reading it. I guess after some serious soul searching (gee, look at that alliteration), I found enough inspiration to finish the damn thing.
Send is the story about a former bully named Kenny, known now as Daniel to protect himself and his family from his past. When Dan was thirteen, he bullied a kid to the point of suicide, and was thrown in juvie for almost an entire year. Such an experience takes its toll on a person – especially when that person is thirteen years old. Ever since juvie, Dan hears a voice in his head and talks to himself. Now eighteen, in his senior year of high school, Dan is in yet another new house, in a new state, starting a new school. Here, he wants to stay. He wants to right his wrongs. He wants to be good. But it seems Dan’s past keeps following him everywhere he goes, and the irony of it all just seems to get crueler and crueler.
I’m not quite sure why I added Send to my to-be-read shelf… honestly, it’s not the kind of book I’d usually read. But I read it (after a lot of self-convincing). Side note: I know there’s that saying that “life’s too short to read crappy books” or however it goes, and I told myself that during my three-day-hiatus, but then I remind myself this: how can I honestly review a book if I never finish it? The idea of reviewing a book that I never finished hurts my soul. Is it hard to read a book that I don’t like? Duh. But I want to give it an honest review, and to do that, I have to finish it. So here’s my pat on the back for finishing Send even though I didn’t really want to.
You may be wondering, “Why, Alyssa, did you give it 3 stars if you hated it so much?” Well, my followers and various readers, that’s a great questions. I didn’t hate this book. I also didn’t love this book, or particularly like this book. I basically tolerated this book. The beginning was pretty slow and slightly boring. It didn’t really pick up until maybe halfway or three-fourths of the way through. I thought the writing was a bit rushed, and oftentimes I got confused. I didn’t really like the voice in Dan’s head…the voice’s name is Kenny. Basically, Dan talks to a thirteen-year-old version of himself. Not only does he talk to that self, but he can see him sometimes. I don’t know how to explain it, really, but it gets even more confusing than that, and the conversations he has with himself get very confusing and jumbled. Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t really like that aspect of the book. I completely understood why he had these psychological issues, of course, but I thought it was represented weirdly in the book.
The main character, Dan, was pretty likable (for the most part), so that’s a big reason why I was able to push through page after page. Julie, on the other hand, was weird and on–then-off, hot-then-cold so quickly it irked me (and Dan). Branden was the same way as Julie…it just bugged me.
My biggest issue with this book was that it was so…unbelievable (in the bad way). Some of the characters were so weird and unrealistic (reference Julie, Branden). Even Dan’s parents were weird, and the relationship he had with them was abnormal. The story just seemed to go from black-and-white to unbelievable, back and forth. It’s hard to explain, so I hope this is making sense…but I just had trouble reading this book.
The only thing I truly liked about this book was the message it conveyed. Bullying is a huge issue – always has been, and definitely still is. These days, it’s definitely more online-based, and a lot more encompassing than it use to be. Now, a wide range of people are being targeted than before. Most people would say the most affected are blacks, gays, trans, etc., and it’s true, many people that fit into those categories are bullied on a daily basis, even by their own parents for god’s sake. Almost no one is safe from being bullied. Both whites and blacks, gays and trans and straight people, Christians and atheists and Jews and Hindus, men, women, children, adults, etc. etc. etc….bullying is everywhere. Send sends (ha ha) a great message: bullying hurts everyone involved, and you do not need to fight fire with fire. Bullying someone for bullying you is not solving anything. I am lucky – I was never bullied physically or emotionally. But I know people who have been, and it hurts. I live in Ohio and I have a tumblr, so obviously I am aware of the recent tragedy of Leelah Alcorn. I heard about her death a couple days ago, and although that entire situation is completely different from the book I just finished, they’re both about one thing: bullying. Leelah was bullied by her own parents. The story upset me greatly. Reading Send, I was reminded that things like this really do happen in real life. People commit suicide because of bullying. I know I’m ranting here, but it breaks my heart to know such tragedies occur, like Leelah, and that the things in Send are indeed things that happen in real life. I wasn’t a big fan of this book, but I read it at the right time I guess, because by the end of it, I was hit right in the feels. It’s a hard story to get into, but the action picks up towards the end, and it’s got a good message. I’m not saying I recommend it because it’s great or anything, but if you’re looking for a book about the dangers of bullying, this one is a good choice.