Better as an adult book

Use this forum to discuss the February 2020 Book of the month, "Opaque" by Calix Leigh-Reign
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Nym182
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Better as an adult book

Post by Nym182 »

One of the thoughts that kept occurring to me as I read this book was that Opaque would have been much better if it was not a YA book.

I dig gritty and dark books like anything by Bret Easton Elis or Stephen King, so when it turned as dark as it did I had mixed feelings. I enjoyed it but did not think that it fit in a YA book.

Between the darkness of Adam and the sexual undertones, I really think that Leigh-Reign would have made a much better book if she had leaned into the darkness. It would have made the strange sexual parts of the book less strange, especially if they were expanded on. I didn't like the scenes where Adam watches Carly wash or Carly's admittance that she wore socks to prevent stirring up Kane's foot fetish (what high schooler has a foot fetish?) in the context of a story about high schoolers.

Do you think writing it a YA book held the author back? Would you have preferred to read this as a sci-fi thriller?
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Post by AntonelaMaria »

There is more to the book genre than the character's age. Just because they are what high school age that makes it okay to put this book in the YA category. I agree with you..topics in this book are better suited to be a sci-fi thriller more than anything else.
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Post by Nym182 »

AntonelaMaria wrote: 07 Feb 2020, 08:30 There is more to the book genre than the character's age. Just because they are what high school age that makes it okay to put this book in the YA category. I agree with you..topics in this book are better suited to be a sci-fi thriller more than anything else.
Exactly! That actually sounds like a really good idea for a book! A dark thriller about highschoolers! Someone, write that book for us!
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Post by SirLaddie »

Too much darkness and violent thoughts at the beginning. This is more of an adult book than young adult.
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Post by B Creech »

I agree, I think it would have been better as an adult book. And yes, I think having it in the YA genre held the author back.
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Post by Nym182 »

SirLaddie wrote: 07 Feb 2020, 09:33 Too much darkness and violent thoughts at the beginning. This is more of an adult book than young adult.
I thought so as well... p.s. the collie in your profile picture is SUPER cute! :romance-heartsfade: :romance-heartsfade:
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Post by Nym182 »

B Creech wrote: 07 Feb 2020, 09:53 I agree, I think it would have been better as an adult book. And yes, I think having it in the YA genre held the author back.
I am glad I am not the only one! Thanks for your comment! :handgestures-thumbupright:
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Post by Howlan »

Yes the author could have done a much job if it was an adult book.
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Post by Nym182 »

Howlan wrote: 07 Feb 2020, 10:32 Yes the author could have done a much job if it was an adult book.

:dance: :dance: It really makes me curious about how dark she can get...
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Post by gilliansisley »

AntonelaMaria wrote: 07 Feb 2020, 08:30 There is more to the book genre than the character's age. Just because they are what high school age that makes it okay to put this book in the YA category. I agree with you..topics in this book are better suited to be a sci-fi thriller more than anything else.
I couldn't agree more with you on this. The heavy sexual undertones, the themes of kidnapping, rape, murder, and such are wildly inappropriate. And while this may not be a popular opinion, as so many people are raving it's 4-star quality, but I really did not enjoy this book, at all. The best I can give it is a 2.

I think that the relationship between Carly and Adam is anything but healthy. He is an immature child, who attacks and screams at his loved ones, and is both obsessive and possessive of Carly. While his "character develops", I never felt he actually redeemed himself. And when Carly finds out Adam kidnapped, almost raped and facilitated the death of a young girl and it's like, "Yeah, okay, whatever. But we're in high school and in LOVE and I'm going to fix you and that's all that matters!" I wanted to chuck my eReader out the door and into the freezing rain, it was so cringy.

I imagine my young daughter reading this book thinking this kind of relationship is normal, and it truly disturbs me. A lot. I've been in an emotionally abusive relationship before, and have been sexually assaulted, and to me, Adam is not a hero-- he's a garbage human being, and I just could not get past what he did to Terry.

In no universe is this a YA fiction novel. Sexually explicit thoughts of f*cking his mom? What he did to Terry? Nope. Nopers. So incredibly wrong.
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Post by Miercoles »

I agree. Some aspects of this book are rather disturbing, even for adults.
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Post by MirageP »

I actually think that the author should not have used the sexual undertones quite so much. So maybe in a way I agree with you; she should have made a sci-fi adult book rather than YA. I'm not saying I'd read it though.
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Post by Letora »

Nym182 wrote: 06 Feb 2020, 15:28 One of the thoughts that kept occurring to me as I read this book was that Opaque would have been much better if it was not a YA book.

I dig gritty and dark books like anything by Bret Easton Elis or Stephen King, so when it turned as dark as it did I had mixed feelings. I enjoyed it but did not think that it fit in a YA book.

Between the darkness of Adam and the sexual undertones, I really think that Leigh-Reign would have made a much better book if she had leaned into the darkness. It would have made the strange sexual parts of the book less strange, especially if they were expanded on. I didn't like the scenes where Adam watches Carly wash or Carly's admittance that she wore socks to prevent stirring up Kane's foot fetish (what high schooler has a foot fetish?) in the context of a story about high schoolers.

Do you think writing it a YA book held the author back? Would you have preferred to read this as a sci-fi thriller?
I do think writing this as an adult book would have given the author more leeway with taking her themes into darker territories. I could easily see this becoming something similar to Stephen King's work with that. It would have also taken the romance part away and made it more mature, which I think would have added to the story. The romance itself felt rushed.
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Post by SirLaddie »

Nym182 wrote: 07 Feb 2020, 10:25
SirLaddie wrote: 07 Feb 2020, 09:33 Too much darkness and violent thoughts at the beginning. This is more of an adult book than young adult.
I thought so as well... p.s. the collie in your profile picture is SUPER cute! :romance-heartsfade: :romance-heartsfade:
I'm glad there are others that feel similar to what I do about this book. The characters were flat and unrealistic. How many real people to you meet that every time you say hello you hug? Fortunately, not that many. It was to the point it was irritating and I grimaced each time they hugged.

P.S. It is a picture of my current collie, Sir Laddie. He will be 2 yrs old March 2nd. I had to think about which collie's picture I had used. I still use my last collie's picture sometimes. He passed away 3 years ago of bladder cancer. I have OCD, Obsessive Collie Disorder.
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Post by Nym182 »

Letora wrote: 08 Feb 2020, 07:08
Nym182 wrote: 06 Feb 2020, 15:28 One of the thoughts that kept occurring to me as I read this book was that Opaque would have been much better if it was not a YA book.

I dig gritty and dark books like anything by Bret Easton Elis or Stephen King, so when it turned as dark as it did I had mixed feelings. I enjoyed it but did not think that it fit in a YA book.

Between the darkness of Adam and the sexual undertones, I really think that Leigh-Reign would have made a much better book if she had leaned into the darkness. It would have made the strange sexual parts of the book less strange, especially if they were expanded on. I didn't like the scenes where Adam watches Carly wash or Carly's admittance that she wore socks to prevent stirring up Kane's foot fetish (what high schooler has a foot fetish?) in the context of a story about high schoolers.

Do you think writing it a YA book held the author back? Would you have preferred to read this as a sci-fi thriller?
I do think writing this as an adult book would have given the author more leeway with taking her themes into darker territories. I could easily see this becoming something similar to Stephen King's work with that. It would have also taken the romance part away and made it more mature, which I think would have added to the story. The romance itself felt rushed.
It just seemed like the author was trying to put a bunch of different genres together that didn't quite fit, and her trimming to make the pieces fit weaken it a lot... a little disappointed cause I really enjoyed the writing itself... and yeah, you are right... the romance did feel rushed! it's like she gave their love steroids instead of letting it grow a little bit more naturally...
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” HST
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