Like hushed gossip…

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a simile from Raziel Reid…

When I heard the passionate advocacy for the book When Everything Feels Like the Movies, for the Canada Reads 2015 event, I determined to read it.

Written by Raziel Reid (pictured above) and winner of the 2014 Governor General’s Award for English-language children’s literature, the novel tells the story of a cross-dressing gay teen who is tormented in the town in which he is growing up. While I respect that not everyone would find this a suitable story for children, I vehemently oppose censorship. Parents and kids, I believe, are best equipped to determine what they wish to read.

I regret to say, however, that I didn’t much like this book. I found the writing pedestrian and the story arc too predictable. Most first novels have flaws in them; this one had more than most.

That said, I did find one remarkable simile. Here it is, set in the boys’ school bathroom:

The tap stopped running, and the only sound was the water swishing through the drain in the wall like hushed gossip.

I found this image effective, I think, because it so perfectly captures the terror of the high school bathroom, where kids fight and tease and bully. I like the way the author underlines this by comparing the sound of water — prolific yet benign — to the sound of gossip — prolific and malicious.

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