I started reading this book a couple years ago. That same night I was chatting with a cute girl online, and she told me she hated the book and recommended another one. I dropped this book and read the other.
I've read a bunch of
Clowes's books in the meantime but I've always shied away from this one
due to that false-start. I finally read it the other day, and I realize
the woman who didn't like it didn't like it because the characters in
this novel are so similar to her - and that's not a compliment. The
characters are so full of themselves. They have a strong outward hatred
of everything, but the hatred is caused by a lack of self-love. They
hate themselves, and they hate their situation (post-high school, shitty
jobs, no college plans - no plans at all).
Clowes does an
excellent job of letting us into their petty, emotional worlds. There's
a few sub-plots that seem really strange, like the protagonists meets a
child-molester who really has nothing to do with anything - I suppose
Clowes wanted to show that these girls may be awful people but at least
they don't hurt anyone(?).
I guess, in the end, I have to agree
with all the praise for this book (which is another reason I never read
this, I figured it was for sure overrated). It's odd to recommend a book
that I didn't enjoy reading, but I think the end of the journey and my
reflections on the characters made this book worthwhile.