My rating is probably harsher than my true feelings towards the book. I didn't HATE reading it - it was just such a let down after a two year wait. SoMy rating is probably harsher than my true feelings towards the book. I didn't HATE reading it - it was just such a let down after a two year wait. Some mild spoilers ahead.
My issues with the book: 1) Isla's main defining characteristic was her love/obsession with Josh. In the beginning, she did seem to show signs of being interesting, three-dimension character. But, that all disappeared when her relationship with Josh began. 2) I just didn't understand the issues with their relationship. It all seemed to stem from Isla's insecurity and jealousy, which is a totally realistic reason for two 17-y/o's to break up. But, the author never really let Isla acknowledge that or, more importantly, work on that. 3) I never cared about either of them or their relationship. I wish that Josh had realized that he was an entitled brat, who threw away a degree that his parents paid $200,000 for. He never took responsibility or showed any true remorse. I wish that Isla realized that there is more to life than a guy you've been dating for a few months. I wish that she had found her own passion, instead of just following Josh as he follows HIS dream. I was really hoping for Stephanie Perkins to take the road less traveled and not end the book so neatly and perfectly. 4) I liked Anna/St.Claire, enjoyed the fact that the made an appearance, but it was just way too cheesy and unnecessary for me. ...more
**spoiler alert** 3.5, truly, but I'm rounding up. Because, although this book certainly has its faults, it just really makes you believe in love; fam**spoiler alert** 3.5, truly, but I'm rounding up. Because, although this book certainly has its faults, it just really makes you believe in love; familial love, romantic love, and love between friends. I want to believe that love happens like it happens in this book, and I think the author deserves a lot of credit for that. But, like I said, it did have faults. Here they are:
1) Ben's reason for not telling his mother about his relationship and elopement. Even if I could buy the whole "she will feel like she'll lose her only family", I don't understand why Ben had gone 9 whole days without telling his mother he was married.
2) If Ben and his mother were really that close, how did she not know that he wanted to be buried? They went through the death of Steven, and it never once came up that Ben wanted to go against his family's traditions and be buried?
3) Elsie was really hard to like. The way that she threw these self-riteous tantrums instead of actually discussing the issue with Ben (the ex-girlfriend, telling his mother about getting married) drove me insane. She called Ana's boyfriend boring just because he wasn't super hot and didn't blow her mind after ONE dinner.
4) Ben was way too perfect. Just too charming, smitten, kind, and upfront to be believable.
However, these pale in comparison to the book's many merits. I am SO glad that the author went against the cliched widow gets a happy ending by getting pregnant or meeting another guy at the end. I also thought that she portrayed the ugliness and selfishness of grief really well. ...more
**spoiler alert** I will admit that Liane Moriarty is a very engaging author, and I kept reading because I HAD to know what happened next…even though**spoiler alert** I will admit that Liane Moriarty is a very engaging author, and I kept reading because I HAD to know what happened next…even though I kind of hated everyone. HATED, hated the ending.
- Thought Tess's story was really peripheral to the novel. I understand that she was needed to bring Connor to the park, but that could have been done really easily another way. I hated that she forgave her husband and Felicity. Any guy that will leave you for your cousin/best friend is not a guy to be trusted. I also hated that she potentially kept Connor's daughter away from him.
- JP literally killed a 17-y/o girl because she laughed at him. I get that it was only for a few seconds, and she wouldn't have died if she hadn't had a condition, but that clearly shows abusive, narcissistic, and sociopathic tendencies. I have a really hard time believing that they would just disappear after ONE time, and that any woman would feel safe living with him.
- Thought that the excerpts about the Berlin Wall were boring and unnecessary. ...more