I have literally been wracking my brain for a way to write this review. I loved The Myth of You and Me. I guess that's why this review has been so har...moreI have literally been wracking my brain for a way to write this review. I loved The Myth of You and Me. I guess that's why this review has been so hard for me to write. It's easier to just rip apart a book you completely hate and words come to you so easily when you try to do that. It's also easier to write a review if you liked a book you really expected not to like. I had a feeling I was going to love The Myth of You and Me, so the element of surprise that comes from loving a book you would never have read on your own in a million years, was not really present for me. My point is is that The Myth of You and Me was a wonderful novel.
In The Myth of You and Me, you're intrigued from the first page. Throwing a mystery at the beginning of the book is a sure-fire way to keep readers reading even if they hate a book because they're curious as to what the hell happened. That's what happened with me. I didn't at all hate this book, but if I'd had, I still would've kept reading because I needed to know what exactly caused the rift between Cameron and Sonia. While she's telling the story, Leah Stewart, weaves in flashback scenes of the friendship between Cameron and Sonia and we readers start getting a sense as to how strong their friendship was. That intrigues us more as we start to think "It must've been something huge that caused this". The Myth of You and Me sort of exemplifies that while strong friendships really do exist, it can take something small (or not so small) to put a kink in the armor, so to speak. Friendships are strong yet completely fragile. I really got a sense of that in this book.
When it comes to the secondary characters, I found that they were also extremely interesting. Although, Sonia's mother really takes the cake for "Most mysterious/weird Character Ever". The psychology major in me really wanted to know more about her and why exactly she was the way she was. Granted I understood that while she was a major character, she wasn't really a focal point in the whole book, so I could forgive that air of mystery that particular plot point left.
So, The Myth of You and Me was an amazing book. It was an extreme page-turner (I literally read it in one sitting) and I thought that it explored Cameron and Sonia's friendship extremely well. We got to know these women separately and as a whole and how their friendship and the consequent "breaking-up" shaped their futures and the way the were now in the present tense. The Myth of Me and You is highly recommended.(less)
Blessings is the second Anna Quindlen book I've read with the first being Black and Blue. Since I thought Black and Blue was so great, my expectations...moreBlessings is the second Anna Quindlen book I've read with the first being Black and Blue. Since I thought Black and Blue was so great, my expectations of Blessings were fairly high. Unfortunately, those expectations weren't necessarily met.
Don't get me wrong, I liked the premise: a baby is abandoned outside of a caretaker's garage and he then decides to keep it while simultaneously keeping it a secret. The premise is great. However, there were just so many other things mentioned that I really didn't care about. Case in point: Mrs. Blessings early life. I seriously didn't care about how she got to be that way she was. And the character of Jennifer was so unnecessary. I really couldn't get the point of her at all. My main interest were of Skip, Faith, and Mrs. Blessing (her current life, not her past one). So, the parts of the book that had these three characters together were naturally my favorite parts of the book and the ones that went by more quickly.
Another issue that I had with the book was that for a 230 page novel, this moved way to slowly. While I enjoyed the book while I was reading it, the slowness of it really didn't have me anxious to pick it back up once I put it down. However, I was anxious to finish it. So, this book was just okay. Nothing ground-breaking and wholely forgettable.(less)
While reading Amy and Isabelle, I found that my feelings were varied. Sometimes I enjoyed the book, other times I found myself just reading it for the...moreWhile reading Amy and Isabelle, I found that my feelings were varied. Sometimes I enjoyed the book, other times I found myself just reading it for the sake of finishing it. I wasn't content, yet not unhappy enough to put a halt to the reading. So, towards the end of the book, I was happy that I kept reading, but not for the book itself, but mostly because another book off my shelf has been read.
Amy and Isabelle starts off a little slowly and really doesn't pick up until the middle. That's when I started enjoying it a little more because that's when I really couldn't put it down and did end up finishing it the same day it picked up. However, the slow start wasn't the kind of slow start where the author was building the scene, so to speak, it was just the sort of slow that just drags on and on and that had me putting the book down from time to time. If a book allows me to put it down and then be a bit ambivalent at picking it up, then I don't think it's necessarily doing its job.
In Amy and Isabelle, the mother and the daughter are disconnected from each other and from the world. Elizabeth Strout did this a little too well because while reading the book, I felt disconnected from the characters. I was reading with a sense of detachment and I didn't really care about the characters. I cared about the overall problem, yes, but them individually, not so much. And then we have a slew of other characters who are taking up space and I really didn't care about them either. They seemed to have absolutely no purpose in this book.
I gave Amy and Isabelle three stars because sometimes, it was extremely compelling and I really couldn't believe some of the things Isabelle did to Amy. However, the bad sort of dampened my enjoyment of the book. If this review sounds mildly confusing, then that's how I basically feel. I enjoyed the book, but not really...(less)