DISSECTED by Megan Bostic
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Hardcover, 224 pages
Publisher: Sock Pocket Press
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Tough Issues
Abandoned by her mother at a young age, seventeen-year-old Sydney Warner is always vying for attention. She’s a thrill seeker with a penchant for extreme sports and a fascination with death.
Withdrawn and broody David from English class is the boy of Syd’s dreams, but love soon becomes just another extreme sport when Syd finds out that David has cheated on her.
Betrayal, loneliness, and a shard of glass set Syd on a course of self-destruction.
Will new friends and her love of the stars be enough to pick Syd up from rock bottom and guide her to the path of forgiveness and redemption?
Hi, I’m Megan (pronounced with a long ‘e’). I am the mother of two crazy beautiful girls, living in the rainy, but lovely Pacific Northwest. I’m the most unorganized person I know, but for me, it works. I have an unhealthy obsession with sock monkeys, love pizza, soccer, the color black, kickboxing and the sun.As far as my writing goes, I like to write about the hard things in life, stories that make people think and feel that resonate with them for days. Part of my goal is to live life profoundly, with enough passion and adventure, maybe a little chaos, so that I may become a great writer. I aspire to never stop learning and growing and to continue trying to perfect my craft.One of my favorite functions as a published writer is to inspire others. I love visiting schools and libraries and motivating aspiring writers to finish their stories and never give up their dreams.When not writing, I?m trying to get my kids to clean or do homework, watching my older one play soccer, my younger one?s music gigs, listening to sad songs, hanging out with friends, strolling the ocean beaches, or walking the Narrows Bridge.
Aside from writing fiction, I also, though sporadically, dabble in poetry, blog regularly, vlog irregularly, having three video series: Chronicles of an Aspiring Writer, Middle Aged Angst, and currently Creative Chaos all viewable here.
I?m a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Pacific Northwest Writers Association, the Apocalypsies, and co-president of the Class of 2k12. I am the authr of two young adult novels, Never Eighteen released from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, January 2012, and Dissected, released November 12, 2013 from Sock Puppet Press.
This is one of the few books I’ve ever read that deals with tough issues. And seriously? I’m so glad I got the chance to do so. Depression, addiction, self-harm — these are subjects that have always intrigued me but I never really sat down to think about them or to deliberate over these issues as they often get lost in the shuffle. So to cut it short, I didn’t exactly know what to expect from this book since it is definitely not my typical read. And by the way — this is one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever written.
Sidney’s life has never been perfect. Her mother abandoned her family at a very young age, leaving Sid somewhat broken although she apparently seems to have quickly recovered from this betrayal. Now she is a junior at high school, having the perfect boyfriend and the best possible BFF — until she relives the ultimate feeling of betrayal and loneliness over again when she finds out that her boyfriend cheated on her. To be honest, there was something about him that screamed fake right from the beginning so I wasn’t too surprised about the betrayal. However, I was positively surprised about the fact that the romance aspect was kept back in a decent way as the book progresses — the plot stays true to its story.
There was that certain indefinable something in the book that gripped me right from the beginning: Sid’s voice. It is so honest and straightforward without being exactly sarcastic or too ironic. It sometimes even gave me the impression as if she was recording her story on a tape due to its “genuineness”. Trust me, there’s nothing the reader can do but empathize with her and experience a rollercoaster ride full of emotions.
You don’t need to be a self-harmer or even have any personal connection to Sid to sympathize with her. The book picks up on many hard topics that affect a lot of teenagers to a greater or lesser extent, such as drugs, sex and first relationships. Yet, the story never gets cheesy or dull; it rather shows us how one little thing can lead to another that ultimately results in disastrous situations which – in Sid’s case – is her mental and physical breakdown after a deadly combination of drugs in her system. And that’s exactly what I liked about the book: It doesn’t happen all at once but it is a series of events that get Sid down. The story raises issues on what it does actually mean to be really addicted, when borders are crossed and you can no longer control yourself.
Also, although there’s some kind of glumness throughout the second part of the book, what the book definitely does not radiate is hopelessness. There is always that glimpse of hope in Sid’s life — just not in a way she would expect it to be. It was heart wrenching to see how she struggles to gain control over herself again in therapy sessions with fellow patients in her age, how they eventually even form some kind of friendship. She is not alone. There is – for instance – Mark who happens to be a self-harmer as well, Buzz, a drug addict or Bianca who is suffering from severe “Anger management problems” (and stabbed her boyfriend in the leg) — they are all charming in their own way because they are authentic characters.
There is something universal about the story: Feeling misunderstood and helpless, losing control over yourself, being isolated — this book is full of those raw and bitter emotions that make you jump up and re-think the term teenage angst again. Megan Bosic deliberately depicts the dark sides of real life in an outspoken way, not mincing her words. Violence, almost-rape…Dissected is not exactly a book for the faint-hearted.
This book is thought-provoking. Provocative. Shocking. It is not the picture-perfect kind of story but a book that shows you the highs and lows of life as well as its unblemished truths. I strongly recommend it to anyone, to people of all ages, especially those who need an emotional read.