This was SUCH an intriguing read. Although, I'll say it now: I have no idea if Love and Forty were supposed to be caricatures, because who names theirThis was SUCH an intriguing read. Although, I'll say it now: I have no idea if Love and Forty were supposed to be caricatures, because who names their little girl Love, or their little boy Forty?!?!? It threw me for a loop. But everything else was amazing.
Joe Goldberg is such an amazing protagonist, and I can't believe what went down at the end of this book. It was insane, and now we have to wait for two OTHER books to be published before Kepnes is going back to Joe's story - the wait may kill me. There's just something about Joe, I don't condone his actions by any means, but I kind of understand his rationale, and I kinda get a bit excited when he's planning the next person who actually has to die, oh God, I'm secretly a serial killer, aren't I?!?!? ...more
This was an interesting read - I enjoyed it for the most part, and I'll add that bit to my review eventually, but first I want to talk about the way tThis was an interesting read - I enjoyed it for the most part, and I'll add that bit to my review eventually, but first I want to talk about the way the book changed from its original incarnation. You see, this was originally published as Gypsy Girl in the UK by Walker Books. I assume it's been edited to be released from Swoon Reads, but not only has it been edited, but it's been Americanised, now that would be fine, if it was just deleting the rogue Us in rumour, etc, but no. This book has been thoroughly Americanised, until it actually makes little sense, in the bits where it's changed.
For example, about 9-10% in, Sammy-Jo has a flashback to her first visit to Gregory's house. There, she sees money on the table and decides to take it. In the original book, she was taking £40 (pounds/quid) I can't say for sure because I only have the American version to go on. Here, in this incarnation, Sammy-Jo stole 40 dollars. Now, are you really telling me that American people are unaware that other countries use different currencies? Are they so afraid of their readers being utterly confused by the term "Pounds" that they decided to make that scene wildly inaccurate and make zero sense to anyone reading the book. Because, even if I was American, I would have already seen the bit where it says THIS IS SET IN ENGLAND, and I would be confused why she would be stealing dollars.
Then, Sammy-Jo is at a nail place getting her nails done, as are all her other sisters. She steps outside for a breath of fresh air, and in the middle of an English high street is all these shops: Walgreens, Barnes & Noble, Gap, Starbucks, McDonalds. LOL WHAT? WE DO NOT HAVE THESE SHOPS. Yes, we have Starbucks and McDonalds, and possibly the Gap (although I've never seen one) but we DO NOT HAVE WALGREENS OR BARNES AND NOBLE. It's like she stepped out of that nail place into ANOTHER DIMENSION. What, could she not have stepped out and seen Boots or WHSmith or Waterstones? Why, would Americans not look it up to see what those shops are if they were curious? Did that REALLY need changing? THEN on another page, someone walks into Hollister. Again, a quick Google will tell you the only Hollister is in London.
But the worst part? THE ABSOLUTE WORST CRIME OF AMERICANISATION of what should have been a gritty, English book? "I've called 911. The police will be here." Oh, eh, no, they won't. Because ringing 911 in the UK will get you NOWHERE and it certainly won't get you the emergency services or the police. Do you really have to change "I've called 999" to "I've called 911"? Do the publishers really want readers of this book to think that if they come to England, they can spend their dollars, go into Walgreens or Hollister, or call 911 if they're in an emergency?
It just genuinely frustrates me. Every time I read one of these inaccuracies (including Sammy-Jo throwing her sister Sabrina a bachelorette party - it's a HEN NIGHT) it just pulled me away from the story. While I can understand publishers might be frightened American readers might not "get" the British way, surely that's not the case for the money we spend, or the emergency services number we call? To change those, makes the book something entirely different, and pulls you out of the story, or it did me, so I could roll my eyes at how stupid it was.
And maybe me writing this is stupid, but I'm sorry, I read PLENTY of American-set books, written by American authors that haven't been changed so that they all drink tea and spend pounds. And I'm glad the UK publishers just publish books mostly as is. I WANT to learn about other cultures, and have to look something up if I don't understand it (like in the UK/America a thong is an item of clothing, underwear to be precise, but Aussie's call flip-flops thongs and I looked that up when it confused me). There's no need to butcher a book because you're worried your audience won't get it; they will, and if they don't, they'll look it up. You don't need to change something fundamentally British because it comes out awkward and wrong and it insults the intelligence of the readers.