Published: November 9, 2010
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Page Count: 358 pages
Source: Used Bookstore
Series: Marbury, #1
Sixteen-year-old Jack gets drunk and is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is kidnapped. He escapes, narrowly. The only person he tells is his best friend, Conner. When they arrive in London as planned for summer break, a stranger hands Jack a pair of glasses. Through the lenses, he sees another world called Marbury.
There is war in Marbury. It is a desolate and murderous place where Jack is responsible for the survival of two younger boys. Conner is there, too. But he’s trying to kill them.
Meanwhile, Jack is falling in love with an English girl, and afraid he’s losing his mind.
Conner tells Jack it’s going to be okay.
But it’s not.
Before I continue on, I should say this: this is going to be a negative review. This is my personal opinion, and who knows, this may be the book for you! It just wasn't for me, unfortunately.
THE MARBURY LENS is the three 'D' words: disturbing, dark and disgusting. This book disturbed me in such a way that made me not want to pick it up, and when I would, I wanted to set in back down. There's creativity and what you can do with it, but there's a fine line when it comes to straight up weird. THE MARBURY LENS exceeds that line by many miles.
I have never read a book with so many cuss words. I'm not a fan of curse words, but they don't traumatize me or anything -- well, they didn't use to. THE MARBURY LENS has probably thousands of curse words in it, and I'm not exaggerating. I bet that you could flip to any page and there would be at least one cuss word on it. Seriously, if you're not a fan of curse words, do not pick up this novel.
The First 'D' Word: this book is disturbing. So many awful events happen in the beginning! It's really gross and messes with your mind, which is maybe what the authors was trying to accomplish. Almost everything in this book was taken to a new level of nasty and disturbing (sorry I keep using that word, but it's the only one that really describes this book for me). Loads of things could have been toned down, and come on, IT'S A YA NOVEL. I would say that the age range for this book, in my opinion, would be either 16 or 17 and up.
The Second 'D' Word: Dark. Simply, this book has so many dark themes and elements, it's almost too hard to keep track of how many there were. Just when you think that maybe things just might work out with the characters, Andrew Smith is all NOPE and throws something unexpected and sometimes unnecessary at you. Just really, this book took a different route than what I expected and hoped it would be. And it really really let me down.
The Third 'D' Word: Disgusting. Yes, this book is utterly and totally disgusting. Especially with a few events that I can recall -- and to be honest, I hate that I even had to come across them because they were just so bad -- that made me shiver and made me go ugh. I will admit that I had to skip those pages, because I couldn't deal with it. Even though this does feature young adults, I honestly feel like this should be classified as "new adult". There were just too many adult themes in this book for a YA novel that shouldn't have been in here.
And I was so excited to read this book! I truly was. The writing style didn't captivate me or grab me any, and the world-building of Marbury was complex, and I felt like there should have been a little more details about it, as long as it the descriptions weren't any of the 'D' words.
I understand that some books in the YA market are dark and deal with dark situations. I totally get that. But usually, those novels are actual situations and marketed as contemporary. This novel, like I said before, was way too dark and some -- mostly all -- parts, and I was actually keeping myself busy so I didn't have to read this novel. And I know that I could have stopped reading this novel at any point in time, but the second one was sent to me, so I knew that I had to read the first novel.
Overall, THE MARBURY LENS is definitely a book I would not recommend, unfortunately. Again, this is my personal opinion. Way too mature and dark for a YA novel. Maybe I'll pick up PASSENGER one day, but I'm not sure.
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