The Seven Rays by Jessica Bendinger
Source: Found at the dollar store
This book was one of many that I found at the dollar store. I bought like 30 books all at once. Since I figured the dollar store pulled these books out of a trash bin to resell them, I wasn’t expecting much.
I have heard the saying, “If your expectations are low, you’ll never be disappointed,” but yet, I was still disappointed with this book. It started out promising. Gifted (she’s super smart, everyone!) girl suddenly starts experiencing weird things in her vision. Mom is obviously hiding something about her past. She ends up getting sent to a mental institution which is by far the best part, just for the unbelievably of it. Girl starts seeing things and acting crazy? Don’t bother asking her what’s going on, or trying the emergency room, or a general doctor. She’s insane! Ship her away!
So after that, it gets far to into an annoying relationship with her and a boy she literally went on one date with and now they are obsessed with each other. I started skipping over parts of this because it was so incredibly annoying. They talk about electricity, and circuits and how much they want to bang each other. It was a little weird because they emphasized she was only 17 earlier in the book and the boy is like 20 or 21. But then I think it said she was 18? It was hard to follow, but she still seemed so childish that it was gross to think of her wanting this guy.
It touched on sexuality, but it felt so awkward it made me uncomfortable, and I’m nearly 30 years old. And it felt like the entire middle third of the book was devoted to this awkward relationship and their talks while they traveled.
I wanted to abandon this book, but I was really hoping there was some redeeming feature at the end that would make it all worthwhile. I even told my husband that, as he bought me a new book and asked why I was still reading that one if I was complaining about it. “I have to know if there’s a twist!”
Eventually the boy breaks up with the girl for reasons that made sense at the time (sort of) but then later in the book I was confused because it didn’t seem to apply anymore. Then girl is left on her own in New York City. She wanders around and eventually is tested by 6 other girls who were featured briefly earlier, each in their own chapter, feeling like a cheap literary trick. The tests are stupid and dull and don’t make any sense. Get a tattoo. Do a stripping set (see, the trick is, she passes when she refuses!), talk to some people, figure out that people have personal demons they use as excuses, and baggage that holds them back. Really deep stuff.
The girls perform a miracle together. Then without really explaining a whole lot about her mother, or why she has abilities or what on earth is going on, the book ends. The author was clearly aiming for a sequel. Let’s hope this never happens.
I think the author had good ideas in her head, but she wasn’t able to describe what she was thinking clearly in the book. Everything is confusing and she focused way too much on things that were boring.
Basically, this book made enough of an impact on me that I had to go tell others of its impact. The impact of a dull book that shouldn’t have been published. Or at least should have gone through a lot more edits before being published. Had potential, but surprisingly amateurish from someone who has written scripts for well known movies. Then again, two different ball games.