(4/50) Considering how long book 3 was, I’d say that’s good progress.
Sorry for the really long review of this one, but I can’t do it justice in a paragraph.
1. A book with an ugly cover– A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara (literary) I got interested in this book after Ramona over at While I Was Reading put it on her list of books she refuses to read. She said it was supposed to be gut wrenching, which was enough for me. I like a good gut wrenching from time to time. A mutual reader friend and I decided to read it together, because if it’s really that intense, it’s best to read it with a friend. After I started reading, I retroactively put it in this category because the cover is awful. I never would have picked it based on that.
I’ll be honest, it was hard to get into at first. Around 20% (according to my Kindle), it started to hit its stride and hook me. This is a looooong book.
I don’t think it emotionally affected me as much as it would most people. First off, I knew it was supposed to be depressing. Second of all, I worked for Child Protective Services, and although I’ve never seen as awful of things as happened to Jude, once you’ve seen awful stuff, degree almost doesn’t matter any more. Third, I knew what was going to happen by the time I hit 30%. I hoped I was wrong…
I also felt like this book played with my emotions a bit, like it was trying to be gut wrenching, rather than the author just telling a story. Like I said, the ending was telegraphed early, but the fact that it’s not revealed until the end lessened the impact for me. There was a large twist I didn’t see coming that particularly hit me, but in retrospect, I really should have seen it.
The language isn’t especially beautiful. Often, in literary fiction, I highlight passages I love for their beauty. In this book, I did still highlight, but for concepts I wanted to revisit rather than language. It’s a lovely book for the way it evokes emotions and its portrayal of life.
Still, with all its flaws, it’s a wonderful story about life and love and friendship, how hard it is to recover from a crushing childhood. I do recommend this book, but with reservations. If you’re too sensitive to weighty emotional material, or you don’t want to commit to reading the first 150 pages of a long book before it gets good, it’s probably not your thing.
But if you love literary fiction and love an emotional ride, this may be one to put on your TBR.
2. A book about grief- Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum (YA)- This was exactly what I needed after reading A Little Life. It wasn’t quite “light,” but it was a fast read with light-hearted and humorous moments. To be totally honest, I teared up with this book more than I did with A Little Life. All the emotions in this book were because of the main character telling her story and me feeling bad for her, not because I was supposed to.
It’s about a teenager grieving the loss of her mother, but also about friendship and falling in love. It was a super fast, refreshing read. It was totally predictable, but that was exactly what I needed.
While I Was Reading Challenge
(0/12) No progress
Clearing Off My Shelf Reading
5 Classic Books
(0/5) No progress
- Secrets in Death (In Death #46), JD Robb (Romance, light science fiction, murder mystery) I can’t keep up with JD Robb’s/ Nora Roberts’s output. I know some people find these to be all the same, and in some ways they are. Eve Dallas, with her husband Roarke, solve every mystery and always get the bad guy. But I enjoy the stories and it’s always a familiar, comforting, fun ride. They’re different enough to keep me interested, and while I like some more than others, none of them disappoint.
2018 Running Total: 6
Have you made any progress on your TBR or book challenges?