Jessica's Reviews > Incendiary

Incendiary by Chris Cleave
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Aug 09, 11

Read in January, 2011

After Little Bee, I had high hopes for Incendiary. Unfortunately, Chris Cleave left me disappointed. Unfortunately, Incendiary seems more like an outlandish dark daydream than anything real. For instance, she throws up on Prince William. Really? Really. I understand what Cleave was trying to do here, but no part of it seemed real. The entire time I thought I was reading some middle schooler's attempt to be a dark and gruesome author. With the middle schooler you pat him on the back, at least he's trying. But Cleave? How can I help but no roll my eyes. It wasn't believable. And in an age where terrorism is so real, this all just felt like some poorly feigned disaster.
Besides for the story feeling incredibly fake, I also had a problem with the story's structure. This woman is drafting a note to Osama Bin Laden, and surely has never used a punctuation mark other than a period in her life. While some stories can benefit from a character's unique linguistic style, this was just distracting. And couldn't help but make me think- lazy.
Now the overall concept was nice. Terrorism, loss, survival. I liked that aspect. I also really liked the character's guilt for the affair she was having while her family was dying- I wish that could have been played out more.
I think this book failed at what it tried to be. The concept had potential, but its execution was terrible.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Erin Buck I totally agree!!


message 2: by Monica (new)

Monica I agree. I'm almost done the book and I can't get over her getting to the burned out stadium through the security and wreckage. Then she is so hurt that she spends two months in hospital? There is a lot about this book that so suspends reality that I think it's a shame because the premise is very realistic. I'm sure there is someone out there trying to recover after losing a loved one to terrorism. It's just too bad there wasn't a realistic fictional portrayal of it.


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