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review 2019-04-07 13:48
Troubled Teens Without a Moral Compass
Quicksand - Malin Persson Giolito

 Quicksand, by Malin Persson Giolito, author; Saskia Maarleveld, narrator

 

In Sweden, there is a terrorist attack in a private upper secondary school. Maria Norberg (Maja) is arrested for her part in the murders. This is her story. She is a teenager, and as she describes her deepest thoughts and emotions, her family life and her love life, her hate for her boyfriend Sebastian’s father, and her conflicted feelings about her boyfriend, the reader is left to draw his/her own conclusion about her guilt or innocence regarding the tragic event. She is in jail in isolation. She carefully relates the events leading up to the attack. She admits to murdering two people, her boyfriend Sebastian and her best friend Amanda, but she insists she murdered Amanda by accident, while she intentionally shot Sebastian to prevent him from shooting her.

Maja and her friends were promiscuous and engaged in dangerous behavior both sexually and with drugs. They seemed to have no clear boundaries to adhere to and did as they pleased, most of the time; sometimes it involved lying or else their parents were simply concerned with other things and did not interfere with their decisions. As a result, Maja and her boyfriend Sebastian make some very foolish decisions.

Maja was given the responsibility for her boyfriend’s well-being after he suffered a breakdown. It is a task she was ill equipped to handle, but no one seemed to care or notice how it drained her. It seemed the adults were too busy to take care of him and simply gave her the job. She was guilt ridden and believed she had to help him.

Sebastian was the black sheep in his family. His father abused and disliked him. His father abused many people because he was very wealthy and powerful. Sebastian yearned for his father’s acceptance but he could not compete with his “better”, well loved brother, Lucas.

Sebastian was cruel to their friend Samir, an immigrant who had a scholarship to their school. He believed Samir was beneath him. Samir had created a narrative about his parents that was false. He said his father was a lawyer and his mother had been a doctor when actually she was a maid and his dad was a taxi driver. Sebastian taunts Samir. Maja, however, liked Samir and was usually kind to him.

Maja seemed too sophisticated, sexually, for the 16 year old she was when the novel begins. However, she had loved Sebastian since they met and played together as young children. When he was held back in school and didn’t graduate with his class, he wound up in her class, and their romance bloomed. He became dependent upon her, but the burden of caring for him grew too great for her to bear. Her parents wanted her to be in the relationship with him because of his powerful father whose influence they hoped would help them.

The novel methodically analyzes the attack on the school which has become an all too common occurrence in today’s world. Maja’s life is scrutinized before and after the murders take place. Both she and Sebastian wanted to be appreciated for who they were, not what they had, but both would soon be judged in the court of public opinion for what they did. Was Maja a willing accomplice in the terrorist attack or was she trying to save herself?

I found the courtroom drama interesting, but I found the language and sex scenes seemed designed to give the impression that all young, rich kids were cruel, spoiled racists who were promiscuous and did drugs with abandon

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review 2018-01-28 22:57
The Quicksand Book - Tomie dePaola

 

For more reviews, check out my blog Craft-Cycle

A cool book that is as educational and as it is entertaining. A great way to learn about quicksand. The information is simple and easy to understand while still incorporating a fun story. A nice way to learn.

And I really liked the ending. 

 

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review 2017-04-03 00:00
Quicksand
Quicksand - Malin Persson Giolito A really good read. The nuanced manner of telling this story touched on many topics, including domestic violence and its ongoing effects on the lives of its victims. Also, how privilege is no insurance against this, and in some circumstances, the decadence it inspires can magnify it.

I think what I found most interesting was Maja's voice. The story has been written as if it is Maja's testimony, which is fitting, as the story involves not only the actual incident and events leading up to it, but also the trial. Maja's voice was that of a victim, the minimising of the violence inflicted on her, her misplaced belief of her ability to control an horrific chain of events and her belief in her own guilt in light of her failure to exert control. I felt a lot of compassion for her and saw how events were overtaking her.

It also brought up issues around the role the media plays in such trials and how easy it is for the course of justice to be subverted by an irresponsible media. It put me in mind of what the Chamberlains went through when their daughter died at Uluru, and also some of the unfounded negative media attention given to Joanna Lees after her boyfriend went missing in Central Australia.

It was also really interesting watching the dissection of Samir's evidence and how easily it was contaminated by subsequent events. It was these events that dictacted his recall of events, which is a common issue with witness evidence. Have we really seen what we have remembered, or is it a post-event construction, an attempt to understand an inexplicable event.

So all up I really enjoyed the book and the issues it brought up. The title Quicksand is a very good metaphor for the chain of events Maja found herself immersed in. Excellent and intelligent thriller.
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review 2017-03-27 16:15
Quicksand - Malin Persson Giolito

I was so excited to hear that I won this book from Book Reporter. It was an amazing read. An accounting of Maja who was the girlfriend of a high school student (Sebastian) who was the main shooter involved in a school shooting. As Sebastian's girlfriend, Maja was considered his accomplice. She was suspected of killing Amanda (her best friend) and Sebastian.

The book tells of the relationship between Maja and Sebastian and Maja and Amanda prior to the school shooting. It is an in depth story of how much Sebastian changed over the time that Maja and him spent together. Maja really expresses all of her feelings about Sebastian, the shooting, Amanda, her time in jail, her lawyers, the judges, her parents, her classmates, Sebastian's dad and the prosecutor.

I found it to be an amazing read and sped through the book very easily. I really felt sorry for Maja as I felt that she had to do things that she really didn't have to do. The responsibility that she was put under was way too much for someone her age.

I would like to thank Book Reporter for pulling my name out of the hat and allowing me to read this outstanding book. I would definitely recommend it.

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review 2016-01-20 00:00
Quicksand (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
Quicksand (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) - Thadious M. Davis,Nella Larsen I wish I could believe anything that transpires after chapter 21.
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