Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Panopticon: A Novel by Jenni Fagan

The Panopticon: A Novel
Good Reads Summary
The Panopticon: A Novel by Jenni Fagan

Pa`nop´ti`con ( noun). A circular prison with cells so constructed that the prisoners can be observed at all times. [Greek panoptos 'seen by all'] Anais Hendricks, fifteen, is in the back of a police car, headed for the Panopticon, a home for chronic young offenders. She can't remember the events that led her here, but across town a policewoman lies in a coma and there is blood on Anais's school uniform. Smart, funny and fierce, Anais is a counter-culture outlaw, a bohemian philosopher in sailor shorts and a pillbox hat. She is also a child who has been let down, or worse, by just about every adult she has ever met. The residents of the Panopticon form intense bonds, heightened by their place on the periphery, and Anais finds herself part of an ad hoc family there. Much more suspicious are the social workers, especially Helen, who is about to leave her job for an elephant sanctuary in India but is determined to force Anais to confront the circumstances of her birth before she goes. Looking up at the watchtower that looms over the residents, Anais knows her fate: she is part of an experiment, she always was, it's a given, a liberty - a fact. And the experiment is closing in. In language dazzling, energetic and pure, The Panopticon introduces us to a heartbreaking young heroine and an incredibly assured and outstanding new voice in fiction.

My Thoughts
My rating: 3.5-4 of 5 stars

What the hell was that? It went from furious to terrifying then dark then darker. Sometimes, it was all those things all at once.
(I think I liked it)

Except how I liked this one at all is a wonder considering the lead was doing one terrifying thing to others or worse, to herself, from one moment to the next.
The only time you do get a hint of hope is the very last moment, but before that this was either about a girl or about some other kid and what they’ve done to be where they are.
(Clearly, they had problems)

She doesn’t pull punches, doesn’t go fade to black when things get ugly... because every single ugly thing here is laid bare. It shocked me but it gripped me all the same. Perhaps the language was part of it…all  the nae’s and umnae’s were a bitch to get through, but then things started going smoothly. Now, once that happened, Anais wouldn’t let me go. I saw it to the end… and yikes is all.


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