Adam and Carly - Romantic or Dangerously Romanticized?

Use this forum to discuss the February 2020 Book of the month, "Opaque" by Calix Leigh-Reign
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Rwill0988
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Re: Adam and Carly - Romantic or Dangerously Romanticized?

Post by Rwill0988 »

This is a relationship based on genetic attraction. Once Adam falls for Carly it is startling how much his personality changes. This suggests that all a sociopath needs is the love of the right woman.

Also, it is repeatedly stated that without each other they would die. While saying this is plausible in an adolescent relationship, in this story it is acted upon (Dauma).

These are both incredibly unhealthy messages about relationship.
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Post by maxiphemmax »

Author quite knows how well to device a romantic scene or to make two people get in the romance. I believe Adam and Carly's relationship are overemphasized. Most of these things hardly happen in real life.
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Post by leiabutler »

I agree. Their relationship isn't healthy and this doesn't set a good example for teens or young people reading the book. We pick up on the actions of what we read and whether we know it or not, they do influence the way we think, so you are totally spot on with the danger elements of their relationship.
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Post by gschauer »

I'm glad someone brought this up. The Carly - Adam relationship was just so crazy. And as I was reading this, I kept thinking about the fact that they are teenagers. This just didn't seem realistic. I agree with the fact that this sends a back message to other teenagers and is one of the main reasons I don't think this is appropriate as a youth book.
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Post by Avoclaw »

I feel that as with any romantic element of a story, there is going to be some exaggeration here and there. While the relationship between Adam and Carly is certainly somewhat toxic for the reasons you've mentioned, I don't think that teenagers and young adults rely on a fictional book as their only means of obtaining romantic advice!
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Post by RStriker1 »

I have to agree that this relationship was on the side of too taboo for me. In my opinion I would have warned Carly away from Adam because of his habits. Most of his actions, especially in their relationship, show signs that he is unstable and potentially violent and abusive. I don't feel like this is a great way to show teenage love, although I understand that teenage romances and puberty cause some very strange feelings, emotions, and actions. I myself was far from a perfect boyfriend in high school, but Adam's many transgressions seem to go unconfronted allowing a very strange relationship between these two young people. I think The author was really trying to show that regardless of what these two do in their relationship, they are drawn and are meant for one another because of the power they share.
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Post by readerrihana »

Nym182 wrote: 27 Feb 2020, 12:11
readerrihana wrote: 27 Feb 2020, 11:50 I agree it did go beyond what we expect for young people's books and some of the scenes were quite descriptive concerning passions and body parts etc

These things would not make it suitable for this age range.

Somehow Carly seemed innocent and their love innocent, yet there are many things that break that innocent bubble
That is a great summary! And yes, there are a lot of things that suggest their innocence (such as abstaining from sex) but there are a lot more instances than condemn their relationship and highlight how toxic it actually is.
Yes, for that reason I found it strange the way it switched from innocent love to passionate, more hot and adult type of love
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Post by leareiler »

AntonelaMaria wrote: 08 Feb 2020, 18:16 This book tried to be so many things by the time all that paranormal stuff happened I was already upset with it to care at all. And for me, that is the only thing I can say that I liked about this book. There is justification in the plotline for switching Adam's personality like that. I can't say that is character development. Regarding their relationship I mean what to say, except that I don't relate or believe in it.
Honestly! We had borderline incest in the first chapter, then abduction and almost rape in the second. THEN we get this strong, female character (Carly of course) who couldn't make Adam face what he's done, but she decides to just burn it down and not bring it up again. It was hard for me to see past all of that. Same here for the relationship, they overreacted a lot and then quickly made up, just to fight again. Seemed very immature and overly romanticized.
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Post by Jacktone Ogada »

It's a tricky situation here. While Adam appears so much obsessed with Carly and they bathe together, spend time together naked, there isn't any intercourse that ensues. This isn't possible in a normal world and I can say it was both a case of being overly romanticised and romance.
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Post by gilliansisley »

supraja_prasad wrote: 27 Feb 2020, 22:31
gilliansisley wrote: 07 Feb 2020, 14:24 Oh. My. Gosh.

This was my absolute biggest pet peeve. And this is supposed to be for young, pre-pubescent readers, ages 11-17? HELL NO.

Their relationship is unhealthy as hell, but it's portrayed as totally normal, which is wildly dangerous. I liked Carly as a character, but completely detested Adam.

Apart from the most obvious concerning things going on in their relationship in general, the time when I was actually most upset was when Carly describes finding the Den. She describes how disturbed she is by the pictures of JoAnn, and the journal, and all that. She's overwhelmed, and yet she says "This isn't the time to be a weak little girl and run away". So she burns down the Den.

Yes. Because apparently, thinking your boyfriend is sick and perverted is WEAK. Because STRONG girls find evidence of their boyfriend having a f*cking scary-ass torture Den in the middle of the woods with CHLOROFORM, and WEAPONS, and SEX TOYS which "make it obvious what this structure was meant to be used for", and they burn down all of the evidence to protect their sociopathic, murderous and possessive boyfriend.

What an absolutely horrific message to give to young, impressionable girls.

And after burning down the Den, Carly says something along the lines of, "Adam deserves a fresh start, and I'm going to give it to him. He's made mistakes, but he's still a really good guy. I'm going to dedicate my life to healing and fixing him."

Horrifying. Truly, truly, disturbing. This is NOT a healthy example for how a relationship should be. If you find out your BF kidnapped and murdered (by accident, but still) some innocent girl just because he was uncontrollably horny, you take that sh*t straight to the police. You don't destroy evidence and cover it up in the name of "love".

In all honesty, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship with a guy who sexually assaulted me, and this book was a trigger for me. Red flags everywhere. There are points in the book where Adam says, "I'm not a monster", and I was in my reading chair saying, "YES YOU ARE, you psychopath!".
This. This! God, this got me so much. When I was trying to review the book, I was so disturbed. But, I was not able to put a finger on what it was. I tried to distract myself with the Sci-fi elements like genetics, the issue that Vikki might be involved in this mysterious world, the mystery and the horror of who Adam's father would be and pushed it back, as in way way back. But just reading this is a relief. I am not alone in this. Also, there are a few books that romanticises 'young' love. I am yet to find love, but if it is anything like this, I'd run the other way! And your point about strength and weaknesses is so on point too.
You are not alone in this! Despite all of the glowing reviews of this novel, there are many of us who are like, "WTF? Are you serious? How!?" Especially as we're older, and not preteens, we can see the potential for this being really, truly dangerous. It's scary. I am so, so afraid for the young people who read this.
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Post by amihughson »

I think the obsessive/possessive nature of the relationship would be creepy and unhealthy for NORMAL teens, but a huge part of this book is that Carly and Adam are NOT normal. They are literally genetic mutation, with superpowers, and "cores" that permanently bond them together. Think of the vampires from Twilight, or the werewolves from every werewolf romance ever. They are NOT normal, and therefore are bound to have an ABNORMAL romance.

As for the whole Terry thing, and Carly ignoring it/covering it up...can I just point out that by then she knew Adam was a descendent, and if she brought him to the attention of the police he would have found himself in a lab full of evil scientists? And can I, again, point out that Adam had no idea and was just trying to figure out if he was a psychopath like he originally thought? Was no one relieved that he figured out he wasn't, and that he just wanted to let her go, but was afraid if he didn't explain things she'd have him arrested? That is a very HUMAN thing to do when one finds themselves in that sort of situation.

Honestly, I feel like you are all holding them to normal life, normal human standards, and they just aren't. It is a work of fiction, with characters who are NOT normal humans. No one questions why in Lord of the Rings the elves have an arrogant pride or why they hate dwarves. You accept it because they are obviously not human. Well, its not obvious, but Carly and Adam AREN'T human, they are something more. Asking them to be and act completely normal humans is unreasonable.
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Post by Ms Vinkel »

:? Okay, so... I've just read the first post and skimmed through the rest of the first page to avoid being spoiled, and I'm now on the fence with reading this one because of well some words... Does this book need trigger warnings? Like, for non-consent or dubious consent?
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Post by Laura Bach »

It's not what I would call a healthy relationship, but I appreciated that it felt real(a lot of people are really that possesive of their loved ones).
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Post by Miraphery »

About the shower scene, that was quite weird and awkward. Adam and Carly's relationship was indeed unhealthy and this book should definitely not be read by teens.
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Post by Reina275 »

In my opinion, I would say that their relationship was toxic. No one falls in love that fast and makes me worried that teenagers will read this because they might see this as a normal thing, he even spies her in a few occassions, that´s not healthy at all. :|
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