Books · Contemporary

Review: Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You by Peter Cameron

This book wasn’t quite what I expected it to be, but I loved it anyway. So many people have likened this book to Catcher In The Rye, and I would agree, even though I’m not a fan of Catcher In The Rye and adored Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You. There is one more book I’d liken this book to, though – Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being A Wallflower.

As someone who had felt socially retarded alienated most of her teenage life (and it doesn’t really go away in my adult life), I related to a lot of James’s comments and opinions. And James has a sense of humour that kept me smiling and chuckling to myself the whole time I was reading, even as I catch my breath at the more painful moments.

The thing that bothered me is it didn’t feel like it ended properly. I didn’t feel that moment of epiphany. I didn’t feel like James actually changed during the course of the novel. He mentioned things changing in the last chapter, but it seemed like that had more to do with his going to Brown than the events that happened in the novel, and I felt cheated, I guess. I felt like, “so you took me on this drive with you, then just when we’re nearing the destination, you dropped me off and went on your own. And now you’re just calling in and telling me that you’re there?”

But. I enjoyed reading this book. I loved every moment of it. Because I really haven’t read something that spoke to me the way it did, in a very long time. I have thought most of the things James did when I was his age. Only I was actually excited about college, unlike him. I thought I’d finally meet people I could relate to, people who could talk books and issues. Boy, I was wrong. Nowadays, I just recall my favourite poetry in class while mentally correcting my lecturer’s English. Reading this book all those years ago would have been amazing. I’m going to say that I’m very biased about this book. But then again, I’m biased about almost every book I read 🙂


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