Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Jordan Bradt: Yeah, yeah – you know how we are with Judy Blume books.  This one, by far, is my least favorite.  The others I could read again, if only to poke fun at them.  I could barely stomach this particular novel.  It wasn’t disgusting, if that’s what you’re thinking.  I was nauseated.  Instead, I was overcome by a sudden case of ADD during chapter one.  It lasted through the entire 296 pages.  I had to literally force myself to keep reading.  My mind wandered to hundreds of different things, some as mundane as my leg itching.  Every few chapters, I had to walk around just to help concentrate.  Why did I even need to concentrate, though?  NOTHING HAPPENED.  The book was a waste of time; too much time, since it took me a few hours.  I could have read it faster if I could focus better.  I understand people now when they tell me they hate reading.  If this was assigned to me at an early age, I would hate reading too.   

So, the book is called JUST AS LONG AS WE’RE TOGETHER.  I had hoped for some potential.  The reviews on the back cover raved about it, and if nothing else, I looked forward to WTF moments and dated references.  The book was written in 1987, the year before I was born.  The most dated thing was that the main character, Stephanie, had a poster of young Richard Gere on her ceiling (maybe so she could masturbate before bed.  Yes, that was hinted at). 

There are three main characters.  I will call them Girl A, B, and C because they are EXACTLY ALIKE.  Judy Blume, once again, missed great opportunities to embellish her characters:  Girl A has to deal with her parents’ separation, Girl B is embarrassed by her high intelligence, Girl C is adopted.  Great areas for development, right?  Well, too bad.  They are glossed over, leaving the characters empty and alike.  Within the first chapter, I hated them.  In the entire book, I couldn’t find a single character I didn’t loathe.  Yes, loathe.  The emotion was that strong.

I’m not too sure what the book is about, because there are all these little areas, but Judy Blume brushes right past them.  Events either happen within a few sentences or we are told about them happening in the past.  As soon as we start to get involved in something, everything changes, and we have to get involved in something else, only to have that ripped away too.  Talk about frustrating.  Those girls are friends, then they aren’t, and go through some stuff, the end.  Honestly, I skimmed from page 255 onward because I couldn’t take the drivel anymore.  I DIDN’T CARE.  I just wanted them to hide within the beaten up pages of the used paperback and stay there so I wouldn’t have to suffer through them any longer.

I must say a few things about WTF moments.  Sadly, this book didn’t have any.  If it had, I might have been partly entertained.  The closest it came to WTF was discussing sex, but even then, it wasn’t WTF enough.  Like, having a seventh grader say if a guy has hairy legs, it means he’s sexually experienced, really doesn’t have any “wow” factor to it.  Sex was discussed way too much for a book geared at eight to twelve year olds.  Eight year olds should still be dressing American Girl dolls, not wondering which of their friends have had sex.  I’m not in denial – I know sex does happen to children sometimes.  It is one thing to deter and give facts to children about sexual intercourse.  It is another thing to just keep discussing sex so that it sounds exciting and taboo.  A great example of the latter is this book. 

I guess I’m done with this review.  It pains me to recap even that much.