Review: Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession by Alice Bolin

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Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession by Alice Bolin | Rating: ★★★☆☆

Alice Bolin's offering of Dead Girls is a solid debut. It's surely an interesting and complex read that analyzes the ever-appearing dead girl trope. Yet, it's also something I am of two minds about--which has been happening fairly often for me this year. You know when you read something and you're partly like, "Yeah. I liked this a bit." and still a bit, "But I kind of didn't like this, either."and it's just all very... puzzling? That's how I felt when finishing Dead Girls.

From an academic standpoint, every essay reads exactly as Bolin meant for it to. Highly intelligent and thought-provoking, Dead Girls really and truly gives some great insight to the title topic. Yet, the flow of each essay seemed almost a bit misplaced--and the collection itself felt quite like it wasn't marketed quite like it should have been. As someone who seemingly questions everything, I really enjoyed the criticism that Bolin brings forward on who we are as a society and what we give the most attention and coverage to.

So to a degree, I very much so appreciated the manner in which she tackled the topics at hand. Bolin is incapable of holding back during this and I truly respect that, even in the moments where I found myself scoffing. Which is less of an insult, and more of a symbol that I can relate to Bolin's thought process in many moments.

Further, I felt like the focus was less on the title subject and more varying than you'd expect. This is not merely a book analyzing the media, and general public's, love of dead girls--there's just way more at play in each essay. And while sometimes this was deeply fitting in what she discussed, other times it felt like there was just way too much--and oddly not enough. 

I will say that I did enjoy reading these essays. And that's, really, all I can say.

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