Book Reviews of Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You
Author: Peter Cameron
ISBN-13: 9780374309893
ISBN-10: 0374309892
Publication Date: 9/18/2007
Pages: 240
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating:
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 9

4.1 stars, based on 9 ratings
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

4 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Reviewed by JodiG. for TeensReadToo.com

James Svek doesn't really fit in. He isn't interested in the same things as other eighteen-year-old guys, doesn't even like people his age, and even keeps his family at a distance.

Nobody could blame James for being detached from his family. His father is a bit self-absorbed and seems to feel obligated to spend the little time he does with James. James' mother owns an art gallery and has just returned early from her honeymoon. Her third marriage has ended almost as quickly as it began. And James' older sister, Gillian, is enmeshed in her own life, and an affair with a married professor. Even the family dog seems to feel superior to James. The only family member James admires is his grandmother who is supportive and understanding, even if she is a bit eccentric herself. The only other person that James admires is John, who works with him at his mother's gallery.

James is a contemplative young man whose views on the world around him aren't always congruent with popular opinion. He sees the world with a mix of ironic humor and disdain. Although he isn't an "angry" teenager, James has distanced himself from the people and things that surround him.

Now James' life is getting complicated. He has been accepted to Brown University but he has decided that he doesn't want to go to college. He would rather buy an old house in the Midwest and live in obscurity. His parents have sent him to a shrink, one who annoyingly answers every question with a question. He has just ruined what friendship he had with John. And why are his parents now asking him if he's gay?

SOMEDAY THIS PAIN WILL BE USEFUL TO YOU is a smart, funny story about the pain that comes with growing up and becoming your own person. James is a highly likeable character whose views on the world and himself are refreshing and insightful.

This is a book that is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who reads it.
reviewed Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by JodiG. for TeensReadToo.com

James Svek doesn't really fit in. He isn't interested in the same things as other eighteen-year-old guys, doesn't even like people his age, and even keeps his family at a distance.

Nobody could blame James for being detached from his family. His father is a bit self-absorbed and seems to feel obligated to spend the little time he does with James. James' mother owns an art gallery and has just returned early from her honeymoon. Her third marriage has ended almost as quickly as it began. And James' older sister, Gillian, is enmeshed in her own life, and an affair with a married professor. Even the family dog seems to feel superior to James. The only family member James admires is his grandmother who is supportive and understanding, even if she is a bit eccentric herself. The only other person that James admires is John, who works with him at his mother's gallery.

James is a contemplative young man whose views on the world around him aren't always congruent with popular opinion. He sees the world with a mix of ironic humor and disdain. Although he isn't an "angry" teenager, James has distanced himself from the people and things that surround him.

Now James' life is getting complicated. He has been accepted to Brown University but he has decided that he doesn't want to go to college. He would rather buy an old house in the Midwest and live in obscurity. His parents have sent him to a shrink, one who annoyingly answers every question with a question. He has just ruined what friendship he had with John. And why are his parents now asking him if he's gay?

SOMEDAY THIS PAIN WILL BE USEFUL TO YOU is a smart, funny story about the pain that comes with growing up and becoming your own person. James is a highly likeable character whose views on the world and himself are refreshing and insightful.

This is a book that is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who reads it.
reviewed Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You on + 4 more book reviews
Great coming of age story for an isolated gay teen.
reviewed Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You on + 30 more book reviews
I was surprised I ended up finishing this book... the first part of it is slow, but still interesting. Around the middle of the book, something 'clicked' and I read a little faster, eager to see what happened with James.

James is a loner/anti-social... I could relate to this, I kept to myself alot (not the way James does, but I didn't care for the company of most of my peers) and agreed with some of his thinking. I don't know if we would've been friends or not, but we have gotten along fairly well.

His family is... dysfunctional, but oddly charming at times. His Nanette was my favorite, sweet and classy lady :).

James' dad was a bit of jerk... I got the impression he wasn't a bad man... just cared more about himself. He feels guilty about not spending more time with his son I think and probly does love him but he feels 'obligated' in his affection for him..if that makes any sense.

James makes a blunder when he creates a profile on a website to pursue his older co-worker, he didn't mean to be malicious but his whole plan backfires on him. It was sweet in a way but misguided.

I remember having the same opinion of college as James, (I didn't go) I hated high-school and I didn't see how college would've been any better. The houses James wanted to live in sounded beautiful but I could tell he was still uncertain about that as well despite his insistence on it. The choices he made in the end seemed liked the right ones for him, whether he sticks to it, *shrugs* Who knows?

The ending wrapped things up nicely, the final line made me smile because I'm sure all of us thought this at that age at some point or another.

Couple of my favorite passages from James:


"I found this spectacle somewhat depressing, because I had always thought, or hoped, that adults weren't necessarily as hobbled by mindless conformity as so many of my peers seem to be. I always looked forward to being an adult, because I thought the adult was was, well--- adult.
That adults weren't cliquey or nasty, that the whole notion of being cool, or in, or popular would cease to be the arbiter of all things social, but I was beginning to realize that the adult world was as nonsensically brutal and socially perilous as the kingdom of childhood."

"Most people think things are not real unless they are spoken, that it's the uttering of something, not the thinking of it, that legitimizes it. I suppose this is why people always want other people to say 'I love you.' I think just the opposite--- that thoughts are realest when thought, that expressing them distorts or dilutes them, that it is best for them to stay in the dark climate-controlled airport chapel of your mind, that if they're released into the air and light they will be affected in a way that alters them, like film accidentally exposed."
-----

This line is perfect:
" I'm only eighteen. How do I know what I will want in my life? How do I know what things I will need?"

An interesting novel, would recommend :) Happy reading!