Sarah is probably one of the most compellingly flawed female characters I've read about recently. Her love of books is an ode to reading itself, but her view of herself is like a warped mirror. She doesn't see the beautiful girl other people want to save; instead she sees the victim two cruel men made of her when she was a teen, the piece of trash her family discarded her as, and the mirage that her best friend and would-be lover Jamie sees her as: the good girl she can never be, not anymore.
I can see why this book has such low ratings. The ending is sad. The message is sad. Daniel is awful. Mike is awful. Jamie is tragic. Sarah is broken. It's a book about how some events just leave their irreparable mark on you, and sometimes that mark singles you out for destruction. TAMING THE BEAST seems to suggest that there is a point at which some people can no longer be saved, or no longer want to be saved, and there were several points-- especially in parts two and three-- that just made me want to weep. My heart actually hurt when I set this down, and the ending was like being punched in the stomach. Despite that, the writing is exceptionally beautiful. Sometimes I'm jealous because an author wrote a story that I wish I'd written; but this time, I'm jealous, because Maguire wrote a story that I never could.
BRB, seeking out a happy read now.
5 out of 5 stars
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