Khanh the Killjoy

Nearly unreadable

Nearly Gone - Elle Cosimano
If I’d spent more time studying instead of chasing after a boy, we wouldn’t be here.

Well, then!

This book makes me angry. I'm getting pretty damn sick of these books that tells girls that it's ok to love and trust a potential killer/sociopath if he secretly (very, very secretly) has a heart of gold. It tells the reader that it's fine to forgive every fucking thing stalker/lover boy does if, you know, he's just doing it for your own fucking good. What the fucking kind of victim-blaming apologetic bullshittery is this? This is NOT ok. What kind of backward message is this sending to society's young women?! I AVOID New Adult because of this, and here it is in my YA!

Why is the main character even tempted to fucking trust potential-killer in the first place? Oh, this is YA, so naturally there's going to be hidden deeeeeeeepths to him, but whatever happens to the "fight or flight" reaction when a person comes into contact with someone dangerous? Run away first. Don't trust him because you know, he might be misunderstood. Think of your own safety. Don't leave anything to chance because I can tell you that 90% of the time, a first impression is correct, and I hate the books that send the message that it's fine to put up with fucking stalker behavior and abuse and alpha-male asshattery if he's a fixer-upper project who will turn into the emo-tattooed-pierced-Prince Charming of your dream if you just let yourself get walked over for long enough. If you just seek to understand his feeeeeeeeeelings deep enough.

The main character in this book is named Nearly and she is nearly fucking intolerable. This book's plot is a series of unfortunate decisions. It is the journey of how a promising, brilliant young woman with a shot at a $25,000 chemistry college scholarship turns into a motherfucking idiot. She throws away all her chances at a decent future to chase a shadowy unicorn of a serial killer (and getting herself in legal trouble), while becoming involved in the middle of a truly clichéd love triangle (ok, love square) between her beloved, wonderful childhood best friend and a guy who's practically a fucking serial killer himself.

I muttered an apology, but the guy just shoved me aside, growling, “Watch it.” Then he kicked my books out of reach with a heavy black boot and walked away.
“People say he killed someone.”

Not only is Nearly nearly stupid enough to ruin all her chances, there's also the victim blaming. I thought you were a smart girl, Nearly.

“It wasn’t his fault. I was the one responsible.”
I couldn’t let Reece go back to jail for something that was my fault. He’d only reacted because I’d provoked him. My behavior hadn’t left him any choice.

OH, IT WASN'T HIS FAULT THAT HE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED YOU IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE SCHOOL? Allow me to clarify, this is the event that "wasn't his fault."

Reece’s mouth pressed hard against mine. My protests muffled against his tightly closed lips.
His hands tangled in my hair, pulling me into him before I could say another word. He tried to kiss me again and I bit down hard. I slapped him hard across the face.

Oh, please do tell me again how it's your fault for provoking him when he is forcing you into an unwanted kiss? Please, do tell me again how it's YOUR FAULT for provoking him when he fucking slams you into a locker and forces a kiss on you in front of the school?

Reece stumbled and grunted, pushing me into a wall of lockers and pinning me with his body. His hands tangled in my hair, pulling me into him before I could say another word. He tried to kiss me again and I bit down hard.

And then to make up a story about how it's your fault.

“I wanted him to notice me,” I said, looking at the principal through lowered lashes, trying to gauge his reaction. “So I tried changing my hair and wearing different clothes. It didn’t work, so I did something stupid. I practically attacked him in front of a million people.” I cringed. It wasn’t entirely a lie.

What the fuck kind of victim-blaming apologist bullshit is this? Why are we making excuses for this boy? Why is this ever, ever ok?

The summary of this book claims to be for fans of the TV series Bones and Fringe. I love Bones and I would not wish this book on my worst enemy, because it is terrible. The investigation is hardly there, it is supposed to be a "psychic" book because the main character can feeeeeeeeel things through her touch. Don't expect much of that, the only things she feels and senses with her psychic touch is how much she really loves potential serial killer suspect.

"Touch me.” He took my sleeve and drew my hand to his chest. The damp shirt clung hot to his skin. It rose and fell fast with his breath.
Slowly, I slid my hand up over his collar, and spread my fingers over his bare skin. His pulse thrummed hard. My heart raced with his fear and the rush of his desire.

...Bones? Fringe? No.The Summary: Nearly Boswell has a hard life. Her father abandoned Nearly and her mother to a life of misery. Her mother makes ends meet as a stripper, there is never any money, they can barely make the rent. Nearly's only hope of getting out of this town and into college is to work hard, study hard, and win a prestigious Chemistry Scholarship. Despite her father's betrayal, Nearly constantly scans the Missed Connection section of the newspaper for potential messages from him. She clings onto the hope that he will return, while completely disregarding her mother, whom she refers to as "Mona."

“Don’t you ever wonder where he is?” I asked, tossing my own hope at her as though it were a life raft. “If maybe he’s thinking of us?”
She leaned against the door. “He’s never coming home, Nearly. That much I know.” She stubbed out her cigarette in her empty mug, the life raft abandoned and drifting in the murky waters between us. “Get your studying done.”

Nearly is able to feel things when she touches people, their emotions, their moods.

It was coming from anyone I got close enough to touch. I wasn’t exactly sure how it worked—it’s not like they teach this stuff in AP Physics—but I had a theory. Emotion is energy, and if energy is strong enough, it can travel between two points. Maybe I was like a channel, someone other people’s energies could pass through.

As if studying and worrying about her dad wasn't enough of a stressor, girls have started getting assaulted at Nearly's school. They were kidnapped, and in every situation, a number is painted, cut, burned onto their body. There is a connection between them, and rather than focusing on her studies and just leaving it to the police, Nearly is determined to find what happened to the girls.

Emily’s had been ten. Marcia’s was eighteen. But why? What was the connection? The message carved in my lab table in physics suggested there’d be others.

Oh, I have to give her credit for trying to enlist the police's aid, only she's not the most convincing witness in the world.

“Did you witness something you think is relevant to the incident?”
“No . . . I mean, yes . . . I mean possibly.” I shook my head. “What I mean is, I think I may have witnessed something, sort of.”

It is absolutely shocking that the police doesn't believe her testimony. And furthermore, she is now considered a suspect. The cops sends someone after her, Nearly overhears them sending an informant to spy on her. A juvenile delinquent who needs to cut a deal to stay out of prison.

“We cut him a deal. He stays in school and keeps his nose clean, and in exchange we registered him as a confidential informant. Tell him to get in tight with this Boswell girl and we’ll expunge the last assault and battery charge from his record.

So this is the lovely Reece Whelan. A potential killer who was involved in a shooting, a drug dealer who's still buying drugs.

“Actually . . .” Reece’s voice was unwavering. “I was hoping you could help me out with one more thing. I’m looking for a little Special K.”

What a gem! The violent, explosive, threatening Reece Whelan is going to get close to Nearly and get all her secrets.

And she pretty much lets him, with a few half-hearted protests.

His fingers loosened in my hair and his mouth softened. He cupped the back of my head, and I clutched his jacket and kissed him back.

There's the wonderful Jeremy, her friend since childhood, the one who will steal from his own family in order to help her pay the rent. The one who truly understands her.

But when I’d touched Jeremy, we felt the same. Alone. He was in his own house, in his own neighborhood, and still didn’t fit. I recognized that kind of loneliness, because it was mine too.

Jeremy, who instills feelings of jealousy within her when he starts to see another girl. Will Nearly lose her chances for a scholarship because of her own fucking stupidity in getting involved in a case that might get her ass fucking killed?

“Mr. Rankin tells me you’re awfully close to earning the merit scholarship in chemistry. I would hate to see you throw that away over a boy.”

Nowhere Nearly Smart: Nearly is the walking proof that you can be book smart, that you can be a genius in AP Chemistry without possessing a single fucking atom of common sense. Not even a proton of common sense. Maybe a quark or a Higgs boson of common sense, which is to say, none at all.

“The police think you’re involved. They just can’t prove anything. They’re looking for any connections. Motives. Accomplices. Even if you didn’t do it, they think you know who did. They’re watching you, waiting. They figure you’ll either do something stupid and incriminate yourself or lead them to the person behind this.”

Someone is out there killing people. The police do not know who did it, but they suspect Nearly because:

1. She has tutored all of the people who were killed or injured
2. She went to the police station claiming to know something about the murders, only to stammer and run away (smart), making herself a suspect.

Coming here was stupid. What was I going to say? Hello, Officer. I think there may be a crazy stalker at my school.

So now the police are on her ass, they've got ex-convict Reece to watch her. She knows this. And yet she's still a motherfucking idiot about not being caught.

Let's see, I'm going to place myself into Nearly's position. I am a suspect in a few murders. I know what I wouldn't do. For one thing, I wouldn't keep going back to the fucking scene of the crime to check out the body!!!!!!!!

“Why were you so mad back there?”
He gaped at me, shaking his head as if he couldn’t believe I’d asked the question. “You were trying to run headlong into what may or may not have been the scene of an attempted murder, Nearly.”

I wouldn't go visiting the fucking murder victim fully knowing it might be a set-up.

Flowers delivered to Room #214. He was tipping me off.
Who was I kidding? That’s exactly what the killer wanted me to do. Exactly where he wanted me to be. This note felt like a set-up. I’d be playing into his hands again, and I hated myself for it. But I had no choice. It was time to pay [her] a visit.

And damn if she didn't fall into the fucking trap when her name is registered on the victim's hospital visitor list.

My name was on the visitor’s log at the hospital anyway. The police would know I’d been there.

She makes mistakes, walks herself into stupid fucking situations over and over and over. Bones' Temperance Brennan would NEVER.

She Nearly had a Future: Nearly needs that scholarship. She desperately needs that Chemistry scholarship. There is no other way she can go to college, but there she goes, chasing after fucking serial killers and flirting with psychopath-with-a-heart-of-gold while neglecting her grades.

Cumulative scores wouldn’t be posted until Friday, but it didn’t take a genius to figure out what a ninetyfour percent would do to my grade.

Oh, a 94% is fucking awesome, but it's not good enough to beat out her friend and closest rivals. Competition is cutthroat. A 94 doesn't fucking cut it. Nearly needs to focus, instead, she allows herself to be distracted by stupid things like killers, lovers (same thing), and chasing an elusive deadbeat father, scouring the Personals section for possible messages from him.

This was my year. My only year. My ticket out.
And I was blowing it.

The Psychopath With a Heart of Gold: The heart of gold is there, you just have to look really, really deep. Like beyond the assault at school where he kicks her books away and then slams her into a locker and forces a kiss on her (it's Nearly's fault that he assaulted her, because she wouldn't go along with his ruse to pretend that she was his girlfriend). And beyond the fact that he's unbuttoning her shirt without her consent.

He reached toward my chest and I flinched.
Give me a break was written all over his face. “I’m not trying to feel you up.”
I narrowed my eyes at him, covering the buttons with both hands.
“Trust me.” He reached again before I could object, unfastening the top two buttons and drawing the collar wide across my chest.

Oh, it's ok, he's not trying to feel her up, he's just trying to expose her boobs. I completely fucking understand.

You have to look beyond all the names he calls her, like "pain in the ass."

“A thistle?”
“Yeah, you know...little...prickly...pain in the ass. It suits you.”

You have to look beyond the fact that he forces his way into her bedroom.

“I thought I told you to wait outside!” I hissed.
He inhaled half of my sandwich and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. Then he pushed past me into the hall, paused at the No Smoking sign, and let himself into my bedroom.
“You can’t be here! My mother will have a stroke!” It came out as a frantic breathy whisper.
“If you’re quiet, she’ll never have to know.”

You have to look beyond the fact that he stalks her while she sleeps.

“If you didn’t talk to my mom, how did you know I was in bed by nine?” The thought both fascinated and horrified me. “Were you watching my trailer last night?”
No answer.

You have to look beyond the fact that he was paid by the police to spy on her.

I bristled, and just like that, the urge to confide in him was gone. Like someone turned on a light, and I could see him for who he was. A narc getting paid to snitch on me.

And beyond the fact that he was a drug dealer who might have killed someone.

“He was responsible for the death of a student.”
“Who?” I heard myself ask.
“A senior. Shot and killed at North Hampton last year.”

So you see, the heart of gold is still there, you just have to be a little patient. You just have to be like Nearly, that is to say, you only have to be a apologetic fucking doormat.

“You don’t get anything! I can’t keep making this about you! I can’t lose sight of what side I’m on, just because you show up on the hood of Lonny’s car and turn everything upside down.”
If he was so angry, why was he standing so close? If I turned everything upside down, why wasn’t he walking away?
“I don’t understand,” I said, wanting to touch him without feeling drunk.

Fuck this book.