Acquired from NetGalley
n. [kar-r? pil-b?] A person of high intelligence who struggles to make sense of the world as it relates to morality, relationships, sex and leaving her apartment.
“I wouldn’t have such trouble adjusting to the world if the world made sense. Which it doesn’t . . . Maybe the world should adjust to me.”
Carrie Pilby doesn’t fit in — and she’s pretty much given up trying. A year out of college and settling in to life in the big city, this nineteen-year-old genius believes everyone she meets is immoral, sex obsessed and hypocritical, and the only person she sees on a regular basis is her therapist. When he comes up with a five-point plan to help her discover the “positive aspects of social interaction,” Carrie, who would rather stay home in bed, is forced to view the world in a new light.
See life through Carrie’s eyes as she opens up to unusual characters, gets herself into compromising situations and casts her keen eye on the ways people interact. Filled with wry humor and insight, Carrie Pilby explores the trade-offs we all make to fit in.
I was expecting a fun, light, quirky read. The cover certainly leads you to believe so and I have a feeling that had I known that the book was way more serious than I was bargaining for, I would have been better prepared to read it. Because Carrie Pilby is most certainly not chick lit.
As the synopsis reveals, Carrie is a genius. A genius who has trouble fitting in, getting along; indeed she doesn’t understand the need for her to do so.
Well okay, I’ll just come right out and say it: I didn’t like the book.
It doesn’t mean that the book is horrible but it’s just that I couldn’t relate to the protagonist and for me, that is a total necessity. The writing itself is interesting. Lissner’s observations on the world are spot on and her descriptions about being alone and not fitting in – not being able to fit in – ring poignantly true.
The story is not a story. Not in the traditional sense of the word. It is, as a fellow reviewer said, a “character study.” And I was not prepared to be barraged by the overwhelming details – it was actually exhausting. I understand the need for internal monologues, I do. A discourse on the world today and all the ten thousand things wrong with it. But there was seriously too much of it. Things done in moderation have a more piercing effect. In fact, my eyes sort of started glazing over.
And Carrie – the so called genius – well, she graduated from Havard at 18, so she is a genius – just annoyed me. Really, really annoyed me. She is an elitist who believe that the only people worth socializing with are those with an IQ as large as hers. The rest of the people are beneath her with their stupidity making them unable to maintain a conversation with her. She also thinks the rest of the world is immoral, has too much sex and again, beneath her because of their immorality. I understand that these thoughts might be her way to safeguard herself from rejection by people but frankly, it doesn’t endear her to me one bit.
She refuses to get a job (make use of all that genius) and lives on her father’s money to which she feels entitled because he tells her a Big Lie (which seriously does not even register on the lie-o-meter). She had an affair with her 40-plus English Professor when she was 16 (skeevy!) and then got dumped because she refused to say a certain word or phrase he wanted her to say while they were getting steamy under the sheets (again, skeevy).
The book contains a thwarted lesbian experience, other sexual experiences of some variety and perhaps a certain thawing in her opinion of the world.
I really wanted to like this book. But other than its misrepresentation as a Chick Lit (it reads nothing like the cover would have you believe), and the waspish voice of its protagonist, I didn’t come away with much. Sadly.