This one is, without any kind of doubt, one of the best books I've read this year. Now all I have to do is wrap myself up in latex and sing Bad Romance until sunrise.
You better have solid moral compass engraved on your brain because this is not a book to learn from and even less to get inspiration from in real life. This is far from being a role model in relationships and society in general, unless you are a wannabe sociopath, in that case, this is made exactly for you.
What does make it so special? It's an understatement to say this is not the usual thing. Far from it, it's such a weird combination of humor, craziness and love there is no way to avoid falling under the spell. Rest assured, there is no real Stockholm Syndrome here, Valentine is just SO eager to be kidnapped by Lindsay he immediately complies. He had never been so happy to obey.
To be honest, my intestines would be lurching in a funny way if not for some spot on features: firstly, the absurdity of most scenes. Secondly, the unexpected sweetness of certain moments. Thirdly, the madness that surrounds everything, from the decision to gather a gun for risky foreplay to the second when Lindsay threatens to spank Valentine if he doesn't eat the broccoli. It was all so out-of-the-ordinary and so ridiculous than it was supreme stupidity turning into real brilliance by the bat of an eye. The author managed to choose the correct words, to tell the perfect tale, in such a way that incredulity was never annoying because you were bursting out laughing so violently you had no time to think "WTF have I just read?" till it was too late.
I enjoyed this as a child but... I know I shouldn't have. Because, seriously
, these too are terribly sick. I can't point out who is crazier here. Valentine is such a brat, he is strikingly immature and childish so that makes Lindsay look out like the reasonable one in comparison. Most of the time Lindsay is like Valentine's daddy (in more sense than one), protecting him from those who mean harm, imposing his authority on him when he goes out of hand, chastising him when he behaves badly, comforting him when he cries, arguing with him when he goes beyond reason. He even picks up his crayons and serves him the hot chocolate at night. Yes, you might have guessed at this point already this relationship is not the ordinary one.
This book is not for the faint of the heart, but it's undeniable there are very romantic chances to see them really together. So romantic you even come to believe they are meant to be due to fate or destiny. Because, is there much of a possibility for Lindsay to precisely "rape Valentine's ear with a gun" in that robbery when they first met? I don't think so, and Valentine is of course of the same opinion, as he states more than once while testing Lindsay's patience with his "I love yous" (I'm smiling so broadly right now, you wouldn't believe).
I jumped at the constant push-and-pull between these two. Valentine exaggerates his childish behavior whereas Lindsay struggles to keep a poker face and a grumpy reaction at every challenge Valentine throws at him, on purpose or not. Their dynamics are on the grounds of a fragile balance that becomes apparent at the end of the book. It's true that each one of them plays a role in the relationship. The role is not an unmoving one, because it changes everyday but within certain limits. If you cross those limits, their world could shatter forever. And that's what happens indeed. How can you rebuild something that seems beyond repair? One the trust is broken, it's very hard to regain it. Once you see the ugly face of things, the illusion does not look appealing anymore. Can things go back to normal, whatever their version of normal is?