I picked this book off of Kindle's Monthly Deals list and was intrigued by the description. At first I liked the stories. They were all different but...moreI picked this book off of Kindle's Monthly Deals list and was intrigued by the description. At first I liked the stories. They were all different but connected. However, by the end I too wasn't enamored by "Karen." Overall my biggest problem with the book/stories were the way Karen had relationships with people that she really didn't For example the exterminator "Eli." She kept referring to him by his first name and the way she interacted with him and the way she talked about him in relation to her I thought maybe they used to date and it was now awkward or something. However, no he was a stranger, just the exterminator. She did this earlier with another male in her life and it's just confusing. I think part of the problem falls on me though. I was expecting the book to be more profound in the sense of maybe the character(s) change and evolve over time and Karen was still as wishy washy and whiny and unmotivated as she was in the beginning. Maybe that was the whole point and that's why I place part of the blame on myself.(less)
**spoiler alert** I don't think I am alone in being pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. I had stumbled across it many months ago and w...more**spoiler alert** I don't think I am alone in being pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. I had stumbled across it many months ago and was intrigued by its description. However, it sat in my "Wishlist" folder for a long time because ultimately I wasn't sure I really wanted to read it. It was labeled a "thriller" and I usually stay away from those because I'm always so disappointed by the end. Then just the other day I saw it listed for $1.99 on my Kindle's Daily Deals and I thought "oh what the heck, I'm desperate for a new book to read, maybe I'll like it." Money well spent!
So now the actual review: I think the two things I liked best about the book was the pacing and the characters. The book started off slow enough to build the world of Flowertown and life for it's inhabitants without really jumping into it but it was fast enough to make you chew your fingernails and wonder what was going on and what would happen next. As far as the characters go the protagonist was exactly what you want in a hero/heroine, someone who really isn't. Ellie's complete humanness draws you in as she's trying to cope with a terrible and seemingly hopeless situation. Can you blame her for being cranky and smoking pot all the time? In fact I like her spunkiness and "f*ck you" attitude. She had the right to it considering her life was taken away from her. It makes you wonder "how would I cope?" In a rare case of well written characters even the side characters were well written. You really got to know many of the inhabitants and their lives whether or not they had a lot "screen" time in the book or not.
I know a lot of people were iffy on the ending but I strangely did not feel let down by it. If I had one complaint it was the seemingly apathetic feelings of those on the outside. Most specifically the families. I just felt that it was strange that a 16 year old girl was left behind while the rest of her family went on vacation and the best the family can do 6 years later is hope their daughter gets a part time pass to attend a wedding? Were is the outrage? Why wasn't there more about the families petitioning Congress or something? Same for Ellie's bitch sister and her bogus invite. I just feel (even with the mail and news being censored because that came later) there would be more about this. I just think it strange because we know the crusades people go on to get people out of prison or when people are poisoned without a quarantine (Hello Erin Brokovich). It just struck me as strange but thankfully it didn't really detract from the story.(less)