Me on the Floor, Bleeding
The moment still haunts seventeen-year-old Maja’s dreams at night in Swedish author Jenny Jagerfeld’s new novel, Me on the Floor, Bleeding . The pain. The saw. The screams. The blood. Her on the classroom floor, bleeding. The image plays over and over in her head. It won’t stop. She didn’t do it intentionally, as most seem to think. She was simply trying to make a shelf in her sculpture class (a shelf is a form of sculpture) for her slightly introverted mother’s vast collection of books. Sawing off the tip of her thumb certainly wasn’t intentional. Suddenly everyone seems to be worried about her and her feelings—her teacher, her only friend, Enzo, her distant father—but one piece is missing. Her mother. No, seriously, her mother is…gone. Poof. Disappeared. When Maja goes to stay with her mother for the weekend, all she finds is an unmade bed, a mobile, and a journal. It’s like her mother just walked out the door, taking nothing with her. Maja is in turmoil and filled with questions until she meets Justin. Justin makes everything seem unimportant and worry-free. Justin helps her forget her problems for a little while. But Justin can’t stay around forever—so Maja will have to eventually face the facts…..however heartbreaking they might be.
“When I closed the front door it was like stepping into a vacuum. I realized I’d known it all the time. Mum wasn’t there.”
When I first saw the powerful title of this book—Me on the Floor, Bleeding-- I knew I had to read it. It wasn’t what I expected it to be at all. I thought it would be about a girl struggling with life as she knew it and trying to break free of her own dark, twisted world. Which it was—but Jagerfeld failed to capitalize on the dark and moving parts and instead chose to focus on Maja’s own selfish desires. I had no connection the Maja at all, which made the novel difficult to read because Maja was what the novel was about! There was hardly any focus on any of the secondary characters, such as her father. Maja did not develop at all in this book, nor did she learn to understand others and their feelings any better. This book was written in first person, which usually adds depth into a novel, but this time it just oppressed the story and made it dull. Jagerfeld tried to make this book honest, gritty, and tear-jerking. Instead, it was flat, colorless, and unmoving. Maja relationship with Justin also made no sense to me. The romance seemed to be thrown in there hurriedly just to fill the pages. They just meet, and suddenly they can’t stop thinking about each other and are making out in the hallway. I felt that Maja just used Justin to get her mind off of everything else in her life—and all the ladies out there know that a relationship built on that usually ends up in flames.
“It was a quarter to one of Thursday the twelfth of April, one day before the so-called unlucky thirteenth and I had just sawn off the tip of my left thumb with an electric saw.”
I would recommend this book for ages twelve and up, or very mature readers, because of language, sexual situations, and some graphic storytelling when she actually does saw off her thumb. Ouch.
When Maja finds her mother missing, her whole world seems to fall apart. With hardly anyone to turn to, will she be able to track down her mother—or be left to pick the pieces up herself?