**spoiler alert** After Giffin's last book and all the controversy that followed with the allegations of her deleting book reviews and bullying reader**spoiler alert** After Giffin's last book and all the controversy that followed with the allegations of her deleting book reviews and bullying readers, I kind of lost my appreciation for Giffin. I used to think that she was the best chick lit author out there, but after the controversy, I stopped following her social networking sites and actually did not know that this book had been released until early Sunday morning when I was perusing Half Price Books and noticed in the "Recently Released" section. I don't know if I am a masochist or a glutton for punishment, but I picked it up and immediately started reading it.
The Good: Its infinitely better then her last book, which is easily her worst.
I selfishly enjoyed the Dallas location, and the football theme. I am a sports enthusiast, however, and I wonder how it will play out with other readers who are not into the sports scene, because there certainly was a lot of sports talk. I did appreciate a female lead with a bit of a tomboy side, who loved her sports. A nice departure from the typical female lead. Definitely a unique choice.
I liked the shout-outs to my favorite Dallas restaurants (Bob's and Mi Cocinas!), but was a little put off by her obsession with Highland Park. Really? There are other parts of Dallas.
I read it pretty much in one day, which I always seem to do with Giffin's novels. The one thing she is always able to do is create a compelling story that I can't put down- regardless of how I like it. That was the case with this book, especially.
I also really liked Lucy and Miller. I thought they had great character development and appreciated their banter throughout.
The Bad: (spoiler alert) I had two big problems with this book.
I could not get behind the romance with the Coach. It was just too gross. The problem was how Giffin set it up. In the first chapter I thought to myself "please do not make this a romance with her and the Coach." Then, I thought, oh good. She is setting this up as a mentor relationship. Shea is going to start reporting, find the thing that brings down the Coach with the NCAA, her quarterback boyfriend will validate her findings, there will be huge conflict. Um, no. Instead it was a gross romance that made me cringe. I know that Giffin tried to describe the coach as George Clooney-esque (also, really?), but all I could picture was an old chubby man (like most Texas coaches). I kept saying "Imagine Coach Taylor! Imagine Coach Taylor!" But it didn't work. I know Shea was supposed to be 33 years old but the whole thing grossed me out, not to mention that he was a recent widow and practically raised her. Hello daddy issues. Hello gross.
There was a point in the book where I really liked it. I kind of loved the initial conflict that she had with Ryan James, and how he was this super successful quarterback and she was this hometown tomboy girl thrust into the limelight. Then, all of a sudden, Giffin was like JUST KIDDING HE IS AN ABUSIVE MAYBE RAPIST. WTF??? You just spent 300 pages doing a great job with character development, and then you went there? I hated that. It was stupid and unnecessary.
Also, what was the point of the NCAA stuff? To throw around some cool sports vernacular? To shout out SMU? Because nothing ever came of it.
Overall it was just okay. A typical Giffin novel that is a quick, fun read, but overall kind of disappointing. ...more
First. I almost missed out on this book. It was one of our book club picks and I didn't**spoiler alert** (Spoilers)
What to say about this book?
First. I almost missed out on this book. It was one of our book club picks and I didn't have time to read it. The group decided to extend it another month to make sure everybody finished reading. It was that good.
Second, I didn't know anything about this book when I started reading it. At the end I was such a mess, my husband kept asking me if I was okay. The truth was I was NOT okay. This book really rocked me, it made me think, at the end I felt very conflicted.
On one hand, I felt like Will had the right and certainly the reason to end his life- but on the other hand, I so desperately did not want him to. He had the means to live a great lifestyle, to travel, to have love. He had the support to keep going. He devastated everybody who cared about him with his decision. But at the end of the day, it was his decision, right? It was his life and he was going to have to be the one dealing with his day-to-day struggles. I can't even imagine putting myself in that situation, so who am I to judge?
So overall I loved this book because it was compelling, made me think, and most importantly made me feel. Its a hard one to recommend to people though, since it deals with such a sensitive subject. I am not sure how they would feel about it. But I admire the book taking this issue, and doing such a good job with it. I didn't feel like it had an agenda, I think it was just telling a story. ...more
This book was so close to a four star for me, and I feel a bit guilty giving it only 3 because it seemed better then a 3, but not quite good enough foThis book was so close to a four star for me, and I feel a bit guilty giving it only 3 because it seemed better then a 3, but not quite good enough for a 4. The reason being is it actually took me a long time to get through it. In part, because it is a pretty long book, but also in part that it is comprised of a bunch of short stories. I like short story books, but they are just difficult to binge read because you feel like ever 40 pages you are starting a new book.
That being said, the stories were so beautifully written. This was the first book that I read by Khaled Hosseini, and I am anxious to read his other books. I initially thought it would be hard for me to "get into" a book that was based in such a vastly different culture, but Hosseini's writing is vivid, it was easy to follow along.
Like most short story books, I liked some stories better then others. I was obsessed to find out what happened to Prim, and I also loved the story of the little boy whose father was the commander in the army. I liked how the book spanned so much time, and interwove the characters together in a way that was entertaining and realistic. ...more
I debated about giving this book four stars- I wish I could go 3.5! I really liked this book. The writing was great, the story was beautiful, but it jI debated about giving this book four stars- I wish I could go 3.5! I really liked this book. The writing was great, the story was beautiful, but it just wasn't a super big page turner for me. I found myself only being able to read short bits at a time before getting distracted and putting it down. That being said, I wanted to finish it to see what happens and when I closed the last page I said to myself "that was a good book." I loved Henry and I loved that it was set in Seattle during a period that is not written about very often. ...more