EyeLeash: A Blog Novel (Book Review)

Not too long ago, Jess C Scott sent me a PDF of her first indie novel EyeLeash: A Blog Novel, to kick off a series of book reviews I’ve wanted to do, of indie and mid-list novels and memoirs.

EyeLeash is the private journal of Jade, a 17-almost-18-year-old girl, who recently graduated from an all-girl high school, wants to lose her virginity with Novan, a boy (now turning into a man) she knew from earlier in her life, and struggles with how she should accomplish that.

This novel is written in an alternative format (as a personal online journal), and it’s risqué for a YA novel (because of all the talk about sex). Surprisingly, the format did not distract me, and the story kept my attention. It became clear to me early on that not only did Novan have an emotional attachment to Jade, but Jade also was whipping herself up into an emotional attachment to Novan, even though they both said there was nothing between them. As the story progressed, Jade descended from confused to disturbed to pitiful. I began to feel sorry for Novan, wanting to tell him just to forget about this girl, because she has to get herself together before she could be a viable partner to any man.

Jade spends too much time online, which seems to isolate her from those around her, including her parents, though she clearly doesn’t realize it. This leaves her with some pretty crazy ideas about sex and some pretty dysfunctional obsessions. She dwells on sex with Novan almost exclusively, obsessively, so much that I sensed she was using these thoughts to cover up for something else that was troubling her, like her inability to love. Then when Novan backs off from the friends-with-benefits deal, she automatically assumes there’s something wrong with her, while it was obvious even to me that it had nothing to do with her. (Don’t worry about what people think about you, because if you knew how little time they actually spent thinking about you, then you’d really be worried. People spend more time figuring out what they want for lunch than they do thinking about you.)

Jade clearly has issues, which probably stem from her past, from her relationship with her parents—Where were they, anyhow? Throughout this entire story, they never did anything worthy of being ranted about in her journal?—or her relationships with her peers. While I was happy with how the story turned out—and I’m not giving away the ending—these aspects of Jade’s psyche were never explored, not even in the epilogue, leaving me unsatisfied.

Even so, this is clearly a decent story, quite readable and worth checking out, especially if you want to read something a little different than the norm.

3½ stars (out of 5) — I liked the book a lot, and I plan to read more books like this; but I deducted ½ star, because I wanted to know more about Jess. Still a surprisingly good book, which I fully recommend. (See note below.)


The Run-down

Genre: Alternative YA Coming-of-Age Romance
Length: Short novel.
Heroine: Jade, a 17-year-old sassy virgin trying to find womanhood
Hero: Novan, a yummy bassist and songwriter with a teenage garage band
Setting: online, the city
Plot: Jade and Novan are friends who decide to include “benefits,” but Novan, with his riddling poems posted on his blog, backs out, leaving Jade feeling angry, betrayed, and wondering what’s wrong with her.
Themes: • Love may be scary, but it’s more fulfilling than lust.
• You can’t actually know what’s going on in someone else’s head.
Ideal reader: A girl just about to graduate high school or having just graduated.

The Book Trailer

A word about my rating system

(go back to rating)

I use a variant of the Netflix rating system.

1 star = I hated it. This is not necessarily bad, because it means it inspired fierce emotion in me. Negative emotion, yes, but emotion nonetheless.

2 stars = I didn’t like it. Also didn’t hate it. The only thing worse than being hated is finding out that no one gives a damn.

3 stars = I liked it, but I probably wouldn’t read/watch it again or read/watch another book/film like it, if I could avoid it.

4 stars = I really liked it, and I would read/watch it again or read/watch another book/film like it.

5 stars = I loved it, and I want to read/watch it (or another book/film like it) again and again and again.