Might have been good if the author had written her own book instead of following some sort of wannabe-hunger-games marketing profile. Also, needed ediMight have been good if the author had written her own book instead of following some sort of wannabe-hunger-games marketing profile. Also, needed editing. And character development, especially for the side characters. And some semblance of logic behind the worldbuilding. Sigh....more
Since I imagined from the title that this book would be full of fun, witty telephone conversations, I decided to listen to**spoiler alert** Spoilers!
Since I imagined from the title that this book would be full of fun, witty telephone conversations, I decided to listen to the audio version. Having finally (finally!) finished it, I think it is pretty safe to say that was a huge mistake, though I guess I will never know if I would have liked it better in print. As it was, a number of things bothered me about this book, the biggest one being . . .
Neal. My first thought on finishing the book was joy that I would never have to hear about Neal's lips again. Georgie's endless descriptions of Neal and how much she loved him were just so boring, not to mention all their deadly phone conversations. I actually turned my audio book to 1.25 time and I think that otherwise I might not have made it through. Neal just wasn't romantic, despite the million times that Georgie claimed that he was, but that actually wasn't my biggest problem with him. It seemed like he was dragging Georgie down, making her feel guilty for his own unhappiness and then using his close relationship with their daughters to make her feel even worse. The scene at the beginning when they leave for the airport seemed incredibly passive aggressive, later compounded by him not calling her. I hated that she never called him out on that - she just took the blame for everything that was wrong with the relationship onto herself.
Another thing that bothered me was this seemed like it would be a grown-up novel about marriage, but instead it just relied on hokey romantic gestures instead of actual work to fix a relationship. Neal's marriage proposal was particularly lame considering he'd already proposed impulsively to another girl in an attempt to fix a floundering relationship. And though I agree that Georgie's last minute cross country journey, despite being completely idiotic, was probably the right thing to do if she wanted to save her marriage, I hated that it substituted for an actual conversation about their problems.
I hated that Seth, who actually seemed to care about Georgie and bring out the best in her, got cast in the role of philandering jerk and then sidelined.
The whole subplot with writing the sit-com was pretty half-baked - really just an excuse to separate them on Christmas.
Also, why aren't they texting? This novel is clearly set in the age of texting, but Georgie never even thinks to text Neal.
And . . . there were other things. Too many things. On the positive side I did think there were two very funny lines - the one about the mudroom and how the house plans for you to get muddy, and the one about how you shouldn't live in a place where you had to take steps just to not die whenever you left the house (though really, you should do that all the time, all year long, wherever you live).
I am a little sad since I was looking forward to this book a lot, but I think it was just a misfire and will continue to look forward to Rowell's next book....more
I suppose it is not surprising that, as the mother of two young children, I spent this whole novel worrying about Eleanor's younger siblings and had tI suppose it is not surprising that, as the mother of two young children, I spent this whole novel worrying about Eleanor's younger siblings and had trouble caring about the mushy-gushy love stuff. Also, am not so much into the mushy-gushy love stuff in general. Still a good book though. I'm going to go back and read her others....more
I enjoyed this but it is seriously seriously grim. People getting squished to death, and (almost) burned alive, and run over by horses, and put into pI enjoyed this but it is seriously seriously grim. People getting squished to death, and (almost) burned alive, and run over by horses, and put into pits, and all of it described in pretty horrific detail. The storytelling feels like a kids book, but the content seems to belong in something much older and darker. Particularly the threat of Alice getting put into a pit. The story makes it pretty clear that witches are mostly women who have been forced to turn to dark magic because they have no other options, so putting them in a pit for all eternity is really awful. Especially Alice, who is sweet and smart and friends with the protagonist! I don't know whether I want to keep reading the series or not. I'd like to keep following the characters, but the violence is too much for me....more
I'm normally a big fan of novels with private islands and glamorous dysfunctional families and deep dark secrets. But . . .
This one was just too sad fI'm normally a big fan of novels with private islands and glamorous dysfunctional families and deep dark secrets. But . . .
This one was just too sad for me. Or maybe it's that it was too sad without any fun parts to balance it out. When I finished I just felt depressed, and mad at the characters because they were stupid. And even though I know that people do really really stupid things in real life, way stupider than the stupid things the stupid characters do in this book, I couldn't help feel like the whole thing was a little contrived. ...more