SEXY by Joyce Carol Oates

March 19, 2010 DNF 5

Author: Joyce Carol Oates
Source: Library Sale

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (February 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060541490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060541491


It was in November, a Thursday after swim practice. The thing with Mr. Tracy, Darren’s English teacher.
The thing was how Darren would think of it, afterward.
The thing that was vague and not-named.
The thing that hadn’t happened, anyway.

Darren Flynn has the perfect life — until that day in November.
After that day, after what happened (did it happen?), life is different. Darren is different. Nothing is as it was –– before. His friends, his family, even the people who are supposed to be in charge are no longer who Darren thought they were. Who can he trust, now? 


I had such high hopes for this book. When I first saw it in the young adult section at the library sale, I thought with that cover, shouldn’t it be in the adult section?  Then I looked at the blurb, and realized it was a book for young adults basically about sexual abuse.

When you first start reading it, you realize it is in fragment chapters. Short little chapters that don’t go too much into detail.  I was going nuts with it! The writing was too choppy and it went all over the place. I couldn’t tell which day it was, who was suppose to be in the conversation, and what the hell was going on.  I kept going thinking that it would get better.  I finally made it halfway through the book and just couldn’t take it anymore.

I couldn’t finish this book. It was boring and full of holes and it didn’t flow right to me. Not much detail in the chapters makes it hard to keep track of what is going on. 



5 Responses to “SEXY by Joyce Carol Oates”

  1. Jeannie @ Pine Cottage Books

    I’m not a reader of Joyce Carol Oates–is this typical of her writing? The subject matter wouldn’t have drawn my interest at all but the fragmented writing would have done me in, for sure. I appreciate your frankness–Nice review!

  2. Marianna

    I actually liked the book. But it was probably due to the fact that it reminded me of another book written by Oates which I loved TONS called Big Mouth and Ugly Girl.

  3. Becky

    Oh no, I love Joyce Carol OAtes, I am so disappointed you found the book disappointing. She does have a very particular and indivdual style that I can see people wouldn’t like. Its very similar to Margaret Atwood’s style in that sense, you wither like it or you don’t.

    Having said that, I havent read this book of hers or even heard of it, it seems weird that she would write young adult fiction.

Leave a Reply