I both loved and hated this book all at the same time. Well, actually, hate is such a strong word that doesn't really apply here. On second thought, I...moreI both loved and hated this book all at the same time. Well, actually, hate is such a strong word that doesn't really apply here. On second thought, I didn't hate it but then that automatically means that I didn't love it either. That's ok though, I don't have to love everything that I read.
All the bones were there to make a super-satisfying read but the meat was missing. It was just too bare for my liking, also I did not love all the pop culture references. I felt that they were used as fillers in place of more significant additions to the plot. I'm still trying to figure out who the woman is in this century, who hasn't been living under a rock, that takes back a husband who walked out on his wife and child. I needed a well-thought out explanation but never got one.(less)
Where do I begin to express my dislike for this book? I'm not sure because anything I say might actually spoil the read for anyone who might want to (...moreWhere do I begin to express my dislike for this book? I'm not sure because anything I say might actually spoil the read for anyone who might want to (piece of advice: don't). The characters are really weak, and even after finishing the book I can't say that I know enough about the main character to think of her with anything but indifference; and as for the plot, that's another story (I crack myself up), it's totally non-existent. Based on the blurb, I got the impression going in that there would be some sort of romance and something interesting -- that was not the case. Absolutely nothing happened, in the first 3/4 of the book, and then in the last quarter things picked up but in a "Bobby in the shower", wishy-washy kinda way. I really didn't appreciate that. I love a good twist but I did not see the point of this last minute effort. Why all the seemingly significant events and developemtn in the lives of second and third string characters? How was this germane to the main character's development? And where the heck was the editor on this one? (less)
I wanted so much to like this book but it was so hard. The funny thing is that I so enjoyed the writing that I kept turning the pages but as far as th...moreI wanted so much to like this book but it was so hard. The funny thing is that I so enjoyed the writing that I kept turning the pages but as far as the characters and the plot went I could not get any of it. I never understood why I should care about any of these characters and that was a difficult hurdle to get over. There was such a randomness to the trio and I also didn't understand what the connection was between them.
Liking characters is never a prerequisite for me to love a book, but here I couldn't even hate them properly, so that doesn't affect my overall feelings. And then the ending was the final blow, spun another way it could have been the one redeeming quality but alas, that was not to be. Oh, well, nothing to see here, keep it moving.
This was a disappointment on most levels but I love the authors writing -- the fact that he kept me right to the end says a lot. Also thought he handled the reality of mental illness extremely well.(less)
The first time I tried to read this book I just could not get into it, that is usually a clue for me but still I did not hold it against the book. I t...moreThe first time I tried to read this book I just could not get into it, that is usually a clue for me but still I did not hold it against the book. I tried again. It was easier the second time around but it still was not intriguing me or wowing me. I kept waiting for something to happen but nothing ever did. This felt like an unruly octopus, with the multiple tentacles never really quite fitting together at the head.
In many ways, the characters were all quite good but never seemed good enough to cohesively fit into one novel. They would have all done well independently in a series of short stores, in that case the expectations and the resulting emptiness and disappointment would have been much less. Also, there may have been more of a reason to delve deeper into each character and their motivations, which would have also answered quite a few questions. Still nagging to me, who built the treehouse, and how could this have been done within earshot of the house and Big not know about it. And how about Raymond/Roger... anything at all about him would have been nice.
Maybe Jackson could revisit Big and Lawrence a few years down the road and make me believe in them. And maybe this time she could stay away from the teenage voice, it didn't work this time. And please, no more middle class people going to the wrong side of town to rescue the poor, neglected child; it's been done and done.(less)