This review is going to sound just like all the other reviews on Goodreads for this book, because they're all exactly right.
It's a slow and confusingThis review is going to sound just like all the other reviews on Goodreads for this book, because they're all exactly right.
It's a slow and confusing start: push through. It's frustrating, because Marchetta makes you work for every piece of information: it's worth it. It's an incredibly satisfying ending, even if you still haven't quite worked out all the details: yep, you're probably going to want to reread this one.
I had put off reading this one because I thought it couldn't possibly live up to the hype - and it didn't, really. The hype was pretty impossible to live up to. But it's an incredibly well written book, full of complicated characters, with a story that will grip you before you ever figure out what's going on.
(I ended up reading this in one sleepy go, trying to stay awake all night at the train station - turns out that when they say the train leaves at 11:20, they mean it. So plot and characters and style were a bit irrelevant, as I was going to read the book no matter how good or bad it was. But it worked out really well for me.)
January 2011: I just reread this in full for the first time since I read it originally (I flipped back through it and read specific parts after finishing it the first time, as I bet lots of readers do, as I put things together), and I think it was even better this time around. Since I technically knew who everyone was this time around, and knew how the pieces came together, I think it was actually a better read this time around, because I caught more of the hints and details that I missed initially. And, seriously. Jonah Griggs. <3...more
Boring and self indulgent. I fell asleep reading this one - and since (as my mother would gladly tell you), I've been a borderline insomniac since befBoring and self indulgent. I fell asleep reading this one - and since (as my mother would gladly tell you), I've been a borderline insomniac since before I could talk, that's even worse than you might think.
More specifically - I'm much more interested in Albert Einstein (and his brain) than I the relationship woes of the author. So guess which one was dissected in more detail?...more
(In the interest of fairness: I "read" this book with a young woman I tutor as part of a literacy program. Whatever issues ANY book has will inevitabl(In the interest of fairness: I "read" this book with a young woman I tutor as part of a literacy program. Whatever issues ANY book has will inevitably be exacerbated when said book is slowly read aloud over the course of several months.)
If I ever see the word "smirked" again, I cannot be held responsible for my actions. I'm pretty sure Noah "Flynn" Flynn smirked at least twice a paragraph for all 400+ pages. (The last-name-as-nickname was the most believable thing that happened in the entire book.) But somehow, he still found time to 1. Regularly get in fights 2. Build a motorcycle 3. Get a reputation as a ~bad boy~ and then 4. Get into fucking Harvard.
A quick synopsis:
1st quarter of the book: "My name is Elle and Noah Flynn is literally the smartest and sexiest and most thoughtful and most handsome man on the face of the entire planet but omg I don't like him or anything."
2nd quarter of the book: "My name is Elle and even though I've now had apparently mind blowing (teenage!) sex with Noah Flynn, literally the sexiest man on the planet, it's not like I want to date him or anything omg."
3rd quarter of the book: Noah smirks twice in every sentence. "My name is Elle and even though I'm sort of dating Noah Flynn (seriously, girls just faint in his wake as he walks down the hall in high school did I mention he's 17?), it's not like I love him or anything omg no way."
4th quarter of the book: "My name is Elle and apparently the only thing I have in my life to think or talk or worry about is the fact that my badass-delinquent-motorcycle-riding boyfriend Noah Flynn is going to Harvard, on the other side of the country from where I live in California, which is odd, cause we all talk like we live in England."
(A total of eight introspective paragraphs about how being sad about her mother dying won't bring her mother back and then how long distance relationships don't always work when you're teenagers. But SMIRKED, OMG NOAH FLYNN SMIRKED.)
I feel like if I had read this over a day with a couple glasses of wine (and it had been edited, taking out about 100 pages), it would have been palatable and I would have enjoyed the eye rolling. But I can't in good conscience recommend anyone else read this. Just in case....more