Book Review: Yen by Anna Jordan

Yen by Anna Jordan

Title: Yen

Author: Anna Jordan

Genre: Plays

Number of Pages: 96

Rating: B+

Recommended?: Yes


TW: Sexual Assault, Child Abuse, Animal Cruelty

Holy shit, this play was depressing. Good but depressing. It was one of those stories that featured characters you know exist in society, but who you’d never want to meet in real life. Hench and Bobbie are two teenage brothers who have been abandoned by their worthless mother and left to fend for themselves.

She shows up occasionally but always brings drama with her and doesn’t offer them any support. The two boys’ lives begin to change when they meet Jennifer, a well-intentioned teen girl who’s concerned about their treatment of their dog. As soon as Jennifer showed up I got a bad feeling that things were going to quickly go south for everybody concerned, especially her.

Jennifer brings a flicker of sunshine into Hench and Bobbie’s lives but you know that flicker isn’t going to last. The dialogue in this play is crass and expletive-heavy but it feels very real. There’s a spontaneity to the way the characters interact and what makes the story particularly disturbing is how young they all feel, especially Bobbie. Bobbie’s thirteen and his behavior becomes increasingly horrific throughout the play, although this character arc feels like a plausible escalation of events rather than cheap shock value.

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