Monday, August 1, 2011

Inexcusable by Chris Lynch

Title: Inexcusable
Author: Chris Lynch
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: May 8, 2005
Date Read: July 17, 2011
Rating: 2.5/5 stars 
Source: Library

I am a good guy.

Keir Sarafian may not know much, but he knows himself. And the one thing he knows about himself is that he is a good guy. A guy who's a devoted son and brother, a loyal friend, and a reliable teammate. And maybe most important of all, a guy who understands that when a girl says no, she means it. But that is not what Gigi Boudakian, childhood friend and Keir's lifelong love, says he is. What Gigi says he is seems impossible to Keir....It is something inexcusable — the worst thing he can imagine, the very opposite of everything he wants to be.

As Keir recalls the events leading up to his fateful night with Gigi, he realizes that the way things look are definitely not the way they really are — and that it may be all too easy for a good guy to do something terribly wrong.

Chris Lynch has written a no-holds-barred story about truth, lies, and responsibility — a story that every good guy needs to hear.
I found Inexcusable at the library and was drawn to its stylistic and engaging cover. I really wanted to like it, especially after so much hype for Chris Lynch books. Unfortunately while there were many excellent points about the ethics of the book, I didn't connect to the writing or the characters.

There are a number of YA books about rape incidents but not that many from a male perspective, so I applaud Chris Lynch for taking the plunge. I'm glad that the focus of his novel was to understand what might drive a boy to rape and what he might be thinking, rather than justifying his actions. While technically there is no gray area in rape (i.e. if she says no, it's rape) it was interesting to see how people could make gray area and therefore semi-complicated events to try in court.

Inexcusable was told in alternating chapters between Keir's past and the present. I thought the present chapters were too predictable and repetitive and it would've been better if it had been maybe 3 chapters of history per 1 chapter of present. There was a great analysis of good vs. evil as Keir tried to argue his whole life that he was a good person who just happened to make wrong choices and do terrible things. Another really good point was throwing alcohol into the scenario. In a few YA books alcohol is something fun and it's awesome to get plastered, so this was great to read the opposite where drinking it contorted Keir's mind to an unforgivable point. Once again Keir used this to his advantage to say that he was a good person who just made a mistake by drinking too much. 

Unfortunately, these awesome points aside, there wasn't much else I really connected to in Inexcusable. I thought the dialogue was too dry and straightforward, sounding forced and out-of-character most of the time. If there had been more metaphors, emotional turmoil, descriptive paragraphs about thoughts, or a complex plot that mirrored a recent/past event I might have been more drawn to Keir's life. Instead I couldn't justify or empathize with him at all and it's very frustrating to constantly hate the narrator/protagonist. 

Recommended: Freaky Green Eyes (Joyce Carol Oates), Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson)

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, I haven't heard of this one before. Sorry you didn't connect with the characters. I really hate it when that happens! Thanks for sharing!


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