**spoiler alert** Nothomb writes short novellas but in each one she manages to convey deep emotions and make me care about the characters, one way or**spoiler alert** Nothomb writes short novellas but in each one she manages to convey deep emotions and make me care about the characters, one way or another. I can very much empathize with the main character in this book. At first Plectrude was a little bizarre but losing her health, facing problems - needing to find herself and then reinvent her place in life, I could relate very well. The characters are not at all mild, they go into extremes, they're intense, though that makes sense given how short Nothomb's books are - she needs to convey a lot in so few words. I must say the ending - Amelie in the book and her fate, was the part that I'd question the most, was it needed there? It was a little weird, or weirder than the rest of the book....more
Disturbing; a little weird; mostly dialogue. I would have rated it lower at first but the twists the story takes make it shine. Nothomb delves deep inDisturbing; a little weird; mostly dialogue. I would have rated it lower at first but the twists the story takes make it shine. Nothomb delves deep into human nature. She conveys in very few words what some authors dont manage in much longer books. The characters are vivid and complex. Her books always make me feel something, I'm never left feeling distant, bored. I'm moved to either loath the characters or feel sympathy. Sometimes, both, given the twists. ...more
I liked it a lot. I liked reading a pov of a 'mean girl'. And she's really really mean. But you keep reading, or at least I did, intrigued with the prI liked it a lot. I liked reading a pov of a 'mean girl'. And she's really really mean. But you keep reading, or at least I did, intrigued with the premise and hoping to see how the change would come about. Once she finally starts seeing things from other people's perspective is when the book really pulled me in. It was a little rushed at the end but over all enjoyable and I bought both Bridget's excuses and how she could go on acting as she did and later her gradual change. It's not as good as Before I Fall which is also 'mean girl' pov, but it's still good. I hoped to see more reactions of the people she hurt, as well as something more from her father, so the lack of it is why I feel it was rushed....more
It's not perfect, this book, but it was just what I needed to keep me distracted from RL problems. It was very engaging. I had a hard time putting itIt's not perfect, this book, but it was just what I needed to keep me distracted from RL problems. It was very engaging. I had a hard time putting it down. So as long as you don't think too hard about the implausibility of it all, the cliches and the science, it's a good enough book.
There was nothing in the writing style that I didn't like. The narration is good and I liked reading Christine's thought process. I liked how the mystery was constructed, with the sinister little clues and Christine getting convinced one way and then reasoning against it. So I never felt I knew exactly how it would end. Still, in the end it goes a little into shallow cliche teritory (view spoiler)[ - Mike's whole motivation is basically him being insane. I expected a little more (it felt a little like the 'Mike' and 'Ben' weren't entirely connected - while the author tried to give some clues to his mental instability earlier in the book, I'm not sure it was enough, or maybe the 'Mike' part went too fast too far into insanity territory), especially given how much the author goes into an amnesiac's mind workings, feelings and, well, basically treating one mental ilness with great care. And of course then there's the ending - Christine getting better. While it ends the book on a high note, it basically had me roling my eyes. (hide spoiler)]
As someone who studied psychology I guess I concentrated mostly on how Christine comes across - it works, how she's confused and paranoid. The characterization's pretty good for somone in her situation - I have to give the author props for that. But. The whole situation itself is pretty mind boggling to me. I just reread some chapters of Oliver Sacks' books and, well, anterograde amnesia- no long term memory, so I kept thinking 'how the hell does she manage to keep her memories for a day and not just seconds or minutes?' So if it's realy mental not physical, she basicaly gets amnesia every night, every day reenters a state of fugue... hm.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more