Young Adult Lit/Crit

March 21, 2008

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You

Filed under: Lit Circle Picks — kariredmond @ 3:32 pm
 I had some issues with transferring this from a book club post to a lit circle one but here goes…This was a book I originally picked up for my seminar not realizing that it was double dipping as a lit circle book… but picking this lit circle gave me a chance to read the rest of it so I’m pretty excited about that!Anyways… Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You is a great new novel (September 2007) about a senior in high school who struggles with his lack of social life (and his dislike for teenagers in general), his screwed up family, and his uncertain future.  Instead of going to an Ivy League school like he is expected to do, he wants to buy a house in the midwest and get a job.  Obviously, a riot ensues because this is unacceptable behavior for a young man with his whole life laid out for him by his parents. This is a great story about coping, overcoming teenage anxiety and depression, and forming identity and independence. His parents are constantly questioning his decisions in life and when he makes a pretty poor judgement he alienates one of the people in his life that he actually does care about! There is also an underlying theme about being a loner/antisocial teen and James often wonders if he disapeared, would anyone notice? There is also a question throughout the duration about the sexual orientation of James and I am looking forward to how that is resolved in the end of the novel.

So who else besides Erin wants to read this book!




  1. Me! I have heard comparisons between James and Holden Caulfield. I’m interested to see for myself.

    Comment by sostrom — March 21, 2008 @ 3:53 pm

  2. Kari, you can read a book you start for book club and then move it to the lit circle group discussion as you are doing with SOMEDAY. Or you could choose not to join that lit circle to talk about this novel but instead stay with discussing it in book club and either read STAY WITH ME (another novel you will find very relevant to your theme of depression/suicide) for lit circle or sit out this one…K

    Comment by sunyprof — March 21, 2008 @ 4:11 pm

  3. I definately would like the opportunity to do this for Lit circle if it is ok still.. I didn’t get the chance to finish it once I realized I wouldn’t be using it for one of my focus books for seminar. I do own STAY WITH ME so I will be reading it eventually (I believe Jess is borrowing it next week for lit circle?)but I would enjoy reading this right now. Plus it looks as though we have a group forming with Sarah, Erin, and myself! Looking forward to it.. unfortunatley I have not read Catcher in the Rye (one of the disadvantages of being in the accelerated ELA program at ESM was we “skipped” a lot of really good HS novels)so I will be unable to really make the comparison but I look forward to conversation about this novel!

    Comment by Kari — March 21, 2008 @ 8:11 pm

  4. Kari, I urge you to read CATCHER. I’d start there–rather than finish the Cameron right now. When I was in h.s., I “skipped” 10th grade English (wish I remembered the details of how/why that happened at this point in my teaching career) and as a result never read JULIUS CEASAR. When I began teaching and had to pay attention to it in the 10th grade curriculum I was clueless.

    Looking back now, of course, I realize how little that mattered–but at the time the gap seemed “serious.” So believe me, I get your “skip” story. You can pick up CATCHER in any used bookstore I’m hoping. Have you ever been to the store on James St. kitty-corner from the Palace Theatre? Or the other one on James on the same side of the street as the Palace but farther east? I haven’t been to either in awhile…good place to look for CATCHER for a couple of dollars. KES

    Comment by sunyprof — March 22, 2008 @ 7:37 am

  5. Well since I finished the Cameron this morning while I was filling in at my friend’s horse tack shop while she showed her horse, I will try to get Catcher so I can make the comparisons. With 3 other novels (plus 1 for another classs)to read this week and writing to work on, cant guarantee that will happen in the near future. I will try my best, that is about all I can offer. Thanks for the ideas for the used bookstore, as getting them online doesn’t always work out as cheaper after you include shipping!

    I was kind of dissapointed with the ending of this novel, I cannot WAIT to hear what you guys are thinking as you are reading it!


    Comment by kariredmond — March 22, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

  6. So any thoughts on the ending? What do you think of James, is he too mature for his own good? I also want to discuss the mother in this novel- moreover her role in James’ life or lackthereof. What do you think?

    Comment by kariredmond — April 1, 2008 @ 9:40 pm

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