Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In Review: Castration Celebration

Castration Celebration blurs the line between adult and young adult. Follow the exploits of main character Olivia as she orchestrates her summer musical project, the titular Castration Celebration. Olivia hates men. Her ultimate male example, her father, let her down by cheating on her mother. This point factors into her writing, naming the main character of all things Dick. Dick’s not a great male character. Along with his dumb friends, Biff and Sluggo, the trio serve as examples of what the man-hating Olivia thinks of boys. Pretty graphically at that. Olivia doesn’t hold back her punches when writing the sordid tale, with lyrics and situations based on what is happening at the summer musical camp.

It’s hard to really bond with any characters in this book. In particular Olivia, who is more of an outright brat that tortured protagonist. She’s quick to judge others and isn’t above exploiting things to make her musical great. I wasn’t really finding anything redeeming about her standing out during the first half of the novel. None of the other characters are really fully developed enough for me. I ended up liking Max the most, but didn’t really learn a lot about him other than how he felt about Olivia. I did like the explicitness of the book, including the best song sung by Dick’s friends appropriately titled “Horny.” It’s a good read, but not necessarily the type of book reread over and over or even recommend to a lot of your friends.

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