Eyeleash: A Blog Novel Paperback – Feb 3 2011
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About the Author
JESS C SCOTT has work appearing or forthcoming in Word Riot, OpEdNews, The Online Citizen, and The Maine Review. San Francisco Book Review describes her crime novel Playmates as "a psychological thriller at its best." Jess participated in a literary debate at the 2012 Singapore Writers Festival. EyeLeash is her debut novel. Her website is http://www.jessINK.com --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
While some wonder about 'another coming-of-age book' this one is different, its very raw, truly honest and is not a victim of self-censoring. This is not your 'usual YA' fiction - this is for those who like their writing true and honest - without looking back!
If you are feed up with stories that contain the tired old 'kids exploring love' and 'learning to let go' you will love EyeLeash - a bold, deep, fresh and relevant novel that could be enjoyed by a book lover of any age!
Well, well recommended!
There were some portions of the novel in which I genuinely laughed at the imagery - this young teenager practicing sex moves alone in her room. I thought - well, I am sure a lot of teenagers can relate! EyeLeash has the potential to be the "Are you there God? It's me, Margaret" of our new day. I remember reading "Are you there God? It's me, Margaret" as a young teenager, feeling almost embarrassed but relieved to read about the life of another teenager, going through what most teenagers go through and thinking, "Wow! It's in a book!" The shock value is there.
However - the novel falls flat on many accounts. I could understand that the novel is supposed to be someone's blog, a young person's blog - but I think it was unsafe to assume that all blogs (particularly those of a teenagers) cannot be eloquently written. At times, particularly in copy-and-paste dialogue from Jade's chat(s) with friends - many sentences lacked proper grammar and punctuation. It was as if I was reading text messages of the uneducated. I know many teenagers write like this, nowadays, but I never did - and I have a hard time relating to this new way of writing. I also felt, due to the demographics of the targeted readers, that it portrayed the wrong idea to young pre-teens and teenagers that this was an acceptable method of writing.
I feel it's important that a reader not only can relate to a character (through experiences) but there has to be some sort of edge that causes the reader to respect and/or strive to be like the character in some way. I just couldn't do it. Could I relate to being a sexually frustrated teenager - sure, we all were at some point. But the way the protagonist wrote - and being an avid reader, I couldn't get beyond the typos, formatting issues, and lingo. I also couldn't gauge the background information of this character. I think without understanding who this character is and where she is from, it's hard to fully fall into this teenager's life. It just did not scream, "A well-written masterpiece of today".
I rated this novel 1 star because I feel the potential is there. Like I previously mentioned, the shock value is apparent. Teenagers will love to read about the life of an average teenager and devlishly love reading about crushes, first dates, and first sexual experiences. The concept, the idea, the topic - is wonderful. But, the rest of the book needs work.
EyeLeash is just about a girl who's feeling pressured to have sex at an early age, as the only virgin remaining in her group of friends. What I think is insane is that the main character's BFF is dating a 30-year-old! And she constantly talks of her sex life with him (thankfully not in great detail). Her best friend, the virgin, is exposed to finding a used condom while visiting unannounced one afternoon before the said friend could clean up a bit. Gross!
The above paragraph will finish most of the ranting about what I felt should have been left OUT of the book. Here's what I think was cool.
1.The game Jade's crush, Novan played with his ipod. Ask your ipod a question and then hit shuffle. It could be trying to tell you something. I tried this myself.
2. Poetry mixed throughout the book. Jess C Scott can write both in verse and in a mature Judy Blume style.
3. That Novan did not show up at the hotel to sleep with Jade. It made her learn something about herself. Also, nude pics? Really?
4. The mention of virtual worlds online. Yes, this makes me a geek.
At first, I was mad while reading this because I thought the character of Jade was so much smarter than Serena Van Der Woodsen or any other slutty pop culture icon. Then I realized that she's just trying to find herself as much as all of us. Let's face it, even a smart girl, fictional or not, can make a mistake. But there are real nice guys out there like the character of Novan to kind of keep us in check. So I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you're a teen who purposely doesn't try to be like the It Girls, or even just a smart girl who thinks that you have to dumb yourself down for guys, read EyeLeash. Jess C Scott is the 21st century Judy Blume.
Jess C Scott's novel EyeLeash/a blog novel (260 pages) chronicles the relationship between 17-year-old Jade Ashton and a young man named Novan over a period of nine months, a portentous time frame and no doubt intentional. Scott is a clever audacious writer, and though EyeLash might first appear as a typical adolescent blog, bloated with self-importance, the novel soon reveals a compelling story, complex characters and wit to spare. Its subtitle "a blog novel" is both accurate and misleading. Though it shares many characteristics of blogs (150 million of them at last count), the "blog" that Jade creates is not meant to communicate. Jade writes, "Blogging awful poetry, daily events nobody really cares about, or ceaselessly complaining/rambling on the same old things, is stupid. Now I blog too, but this is a private one. Unsearchable on Google, and password-enabled. So it's just me. I can be as boring and mundane as I like, talk to myself if everyone online has the (Away) or (Busy) sign on, and not worry about stepping on anybody's toes. Let's see what I'll record here over this year." In effect, the blog functions as setting, familiarizing the reader not with street names or land formations, but URLs, IM formats and the abbreviated lingua franca of online chatting. If you're looking for naturalistic description you won't find it here.
Blog trappings aside, EyeLeash is a descendent of the epistolary novel, popularized in the 18th Century by Samuel Richardson's novels Pamela and Clarissa, with recent examples being Beverly Cleary's Dear Dr. Henshaw and Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Epistolary novels contain letters (correspondence), but also journal/diary entries, snippets of written documents from other sources, dialogue, etc. Scott makes good use of all these forms (exchanging e-mails or even lines of single lines of dialogue in IM is not congruent to snail mail but comparable) to reflect Jade's life and her problems. At the heart of the story is Jade's relationship with Novan, a boy she has known all her life and even dated a few years back. Novan has matured physically (all sources report the dude as HOT), become a musician/artist and is avidly pursuing his career. Jade is trying to come to terms with how she feels about Novan and how he feels about her, especially about her body, a concern that provokes much self-examination, physically and psychologically. Will this budding tentative romance develop? Will they have sex? Forces are at work to disrupt the relationship. All of Jade's friends are sexual sophisticates. Sexual opportunity, whether straight, gay, bi or through virtual reality is readily available (sex falls like the gentle rain from heaven sent). Miraculously, Jade is a virgin (an echo of American Beauty), which within her set seems at best quaint and at worst decadent, an affront to the zeitgeist. Jade's adventures in self-exploration, which take up much space, would make for an X version of Home Alone. If Eyeleash is starting to sound like Terry Southern's novel Candy, it isn't. Scott manages to make all of this less prurient than a prudent send-up of the top ten staples of women's magazines. Jade is supremely aware of the superficiality of her concerns. This is what separates Jade from her breathless friends and provides the humor. One example: In a discussion with a friend about an engaging sexual position, Jade is lead to believe that her friend had actually read the Kama Sutra, and duly impressed at her friend's ambitious reading, but her friend, SeXy nAuGhTy BiTcHy Me, has gleaned the info from an article in a recent 100 % Woman magazine.
Jade's numerous conversations with Novan, which include plans to exchange nude photographs and discussions about BD/DS/SM (if you're drawing a blank, read the book) are an effort to humanize our contemporary obsession with perfect bodies and perfect sex, a dehumanization ably abetted by the Web. As Jade moves toward her decision regarding Novan (can she no longer trust the boy that she traded coded messages with in grade school?), Scott captures with admirable authenticity the struggle of a young adult to shed the ephemeral for the permanency of an authentic relationship. Although the raw language is a problem, Eyeleash is a love story that will appeal to intelligent young adults and others that were.--Alex Austin
A sensational and compelling read, Scott spins together an original online romance. 17 year old Jade Ashton keeps a private blog to chronicle her life over the next year. Quickly, her blog posts switch from rambling about friends to obsessing over her now grown up childhood friend, Novan. Talking sporadically to Novan whenever he is online, they come to an agreement to be friends with benefits. Surprisingly, Novan grows distant from Jade and it takes a lot of late night blog posts and thoughts of Novan occupying her mind for Jade to figure out what is really in her heart.
With every teen growing up in a time of technology up-roar, Scott has found the perfect way to speak to the youth of today. As Jade puts all her feelings out there (uncensored) in her private blog, every teen in America will be able to relate to her thoughts and desires. With each blog post Jade writes the reader is welcomed into higher levers of who she really is.
The more readers read EyeLeash: A Blog Novel, the more they will fall in love with the honest characters. This witty and quirky narrative is better than reading a book. Just as I have, teens will feel right at home reading this book written in blog formant.
Though this book is far different from the fluffy Twilight series, don't be surprised if Jess C. Scott's books spark the next reading revolution. Scott's original voice and style don't just tell a story, they tell the way of teenage life.