Sigh … I think maybe I’ve just been in a crabby mood this weekend, a number of things have really brought me down and made me want to break things. I wasn’t really planning to write much about this book if anything – on the whole it was average, as fascinating at times as I expected but full of a lot of repetition and overly righteous protestations.
I actually had few problems with it, and the rather rushed chapters at the end covering the many things Fisher has done with her life since getting out of jail (including, who knew? anonymous children’s furniture painting online) really closed it and left me on the positive side. Unluckily for me, I kept reading the “appendix” – “Warning Signs” – in which she talks about the things that should be looked out for in teenagers to prevent what happened to her happening again. I really don’t think there’s a better way to share my thoughts on this little extra than simply reprinting those bullet points, so, hoping Fair Use covers me, that’s what I’ll do:
- Problems with school grades and school attendance
- Lack of or a change in friends or clique
- A dramatic change in appearance
- Becoming nasty and argumentative
- Lack of participation in any school activities or sports
- Laziness; refusing to clean up after themselves
- Being idle (kids need to be active, to be involved in sports or working a part-time job)
- Sleeping all day
- Staying out late at night
(why do I have Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted in my head sighing, “That’s everyone,” lol?)
Don’t get me wrong, those things are all negatives to varying degrees and in extreme cases should be reined in … but, y’know, from Amy Fisher? All I can think is: all of these except the last have applied to me. Now, no: I’m not running a multi-million multi-national charitable empire at the age of 27. But I never shot anyone in the neck as a result either. I hate to find myself being so blunt, but the degree to which this book’s ending annoyed me can’t be overstated.
But that’s not all. She then offers ways to deal with these “problems”. These are lengthier so I won’t copy them all … I’ll skip to the ones that finally made me almost throw the book at the wall in disgust:
10. Oversleeping is an obvious sign of laziness and depression. No one should sleep his or her life away, so wake your teen up on the weekends …
14. We all want to trust our kids. It is better, however, to be safe than sorry. Once in a while invade your teen’s privacy. Poke around his or her room a little bit. You can learn a lot by reading a note written by a friend. You might find drugs, condoms, failing test papers. The possibilities are endless. (You may also find some wonderful, positive things instead!)
Like I said, I don’t think I need to do any more than quote. Well, it boggled my mind anyway.
Don’t get me wrong, that last chapter relative to the rest of the book really is as “brief but total, unfathamable” a “lapse of judgment” as she claims her original crime was. I’m glad I read this book, and I’m still fascinated by her story, if not moreso. It has its stupid moments, but overall she seems to be a really together girl (sorry, I can’t seem to call her a woman – one thing that struck me when reading was that she’s nowhere near as much older than me as I’d always figured for some reason). Of course, the story has taken even further turns since this book, turns that kind of throw a lot of it into doubt. I haven’t been following that stuff too well so I won’t speculate. But like I said, I’m still fascinated by the whole thing.