real talk, i read this book because i adore the movie so much.
first published in 1993, the book by Jeffrey Eugenides revolves around the life and eventual suicide of the five Lisbon girls as told by the group of men (then neighborhood boys) who "loved" them. yeah the book is pretty much what you think it is.
that's always really been my problem with the film. these boys treat the girls as some big mystery, they don't even try to get to know them it sounds like they just stare at them all the time. and even though the narrator in the film is a young man, and we never see these guys as the men they will become, the ick factor is still palpable. they're talking about girls they never really knew, and they're still hung up on them years later.
the novel turns this up to eleven, mostly because it makes references to how they talked about how they thought of these girls when they were trying to do it with their wives and girlfriends once they were adults, and yeah no thank you.
this novel is much better when you tell yourself that it's intentionally this bad and you picture the Lisbon girls laughing at how these idiots are running around.i was actually pleasantly surprised to see that the movie was such a faithful adaptation, and that so many of the details remained. it was also brilliantly cast, and the music and score were pitch perfect.
the book and the movie never left me wanting for an answer, and i don't know if that was intentional on the author's behalf or not. i understand is the thing, i understand more than the boys in the novel do. i've been a thirteen year old girl, this awkward moment in adolescence is something i got through. i've felt the sadness, felt the need to escape, of course not to the levels that the Lisbon girls felt it. there was also a smidge more nuance to Mr. and Mrs. Lisbon than the movie conveyed and so that was good.
the boys in this book are the worst though.