Laura Hallman's Reviews > This Is How

This Is How by M.J. Hyland
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Mar 31, 11

Read from March 25 to 31, 2011

You know how they say there are two kinds of J.D. Salinger fans? Ones who live for "Catcher in the Rye" and ones who shun the prior in favor of "Nine Stories"? I'm not making this up. Anyway, I'm definitely a "Nine Stories" girl who cannot give up hope on "Catcher". Every time I reread it I keep hoping everything I want to be there will suddenly appear. As my younger brother has told me, "Yeah, it'd be a great book if Holden's angst actually bloody meant something or he wasn't a total dipwad." Yes, there's that.

Why do I tell you all this? Because if Holden's angst actually meant something, and he stopped being an utter dipwad, it may start to resemble "This is How". Last year I read "Carry Me Down" of Hyland's. She has the same kind of awkward, angsty, inappropriate male character leading the book, but one is 13 and the other is 23. This didn't bore me. In both examples, Hyland really delves into human motivation and issues of circumstance without telling you she's doing it or why. This is refreshing and keeps intrigue.

The books is not perfect, but I don't believe I'd suggest any changes. It never went where I thought it would--this is a high compliment. The ending initially struck me as insufficient, but before I had even closed the book I realized how overwhelmingly powerful it was.

I certainly suggest this, especially if you have a few hours to get lost in it. Hyland reads fast but is worth the read. I'm interested in seeing the rest of her work.
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Reading Progress

03/25/2011 page 18
6.0% "Oh no! I forgot this on my desk at work! Has to be put on hold till Monday. Boo."
03/29/2011 page 108
34.0% "Wow. Just like my other experience with Hyland ("Carry Me Down), she just... get it. I'm not sure how to describe what "it" is... but she gets it. So good. Redeeming of contemporary lit for my soul."
03/29/2011 page 151
47.0% "Finished the 1st part (of 2). Holy Moses! Everything just got crazy. Like "Black Swan" crazy. And even though protagonist-narrator Patrick is a very disarming, awkward individual, I am most disturbed by Bridget."
03/30/2011 page 268
84.0% "Just got home from work, and I am going to finish this tonight no matter what... unless I fall asleep first."

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Ines (new)

Ines I forgot my mobile phone on Friday at my last A-Level exam. Coincidence, huh ;)


Laura Hallman Ha. That is a bit strange. Hope you were able to retrieve it!


message 3: by Ines (new)

Ines Laura wrote: "Ha. That is a bit strange. Hope you were able to retrieve it!"

Actually, I was not able to get it back yet. My mom's car broke down, so I have to wait until it's fixed again. :/


Laura Hallman Ines wrote: "Laura wrote: "Ha. That is a bit strange. Hope you were able to retrieve it!"

Actually, I was not able to get it back yet. My mom's car broke down, so I have to wait until it's fixed again. :/"


Oh, that is not good. Well, glad you have books in the meantime!


message 5: by Ines (new)

Ines Laura wrote: "Ines wrote: "Laura wrote: "Ha. That is a bit strange. Hope you were able to retrieve it!"

Actually, I was not able to get it back yet. My mom's car broke down, so I have to wait until it's fixed..."


Laura wrote: "Ines wrote: "Laura wrote: "Ha. That is a bit strange. Hope you were able to retrieve it!"

Actually, I was not able to get it back yet. My mom's car broke down, so I have to wait until it's fixed..."


So true :D
Plus: our television is broken since yesterday's double Glee episode. :O
I've never experienced so much damage within less than a week. xD


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