Rebecca's Reviews > Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
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's review
Mar 01, 12

bookshelves: book-club, books-i-own, made-into-movies
Read from February 25 to March 01, 2012, read count: 1

I knew nothing about this book when I started it, other than it had been made into a movie. My book club picked it, and while I was not exactly enthusiastic, I figured I didn't have room to complain after my pick went over like a lead balloon. To my surprise (this isn't really my genre), I really enjoyed it--in fact, I was hooked from the prologue on, and found every chance I could to get in a few pages more. This is not something I would ever have pictured myself enjoying, but I'm glad I tried it. I was even able to overlook some of the things that usually would have bothered me. Normally telling a story in present tense makes me crazy, but it was so smooth and seamless that I really didn't notice it most of the time. She was also able to handle most of the grammar issues that cause present-tense narrative to be so clunky.

At first I had trouble with the switching back and forth between "old Jacob" and "young Jacob." Not really trouble, because it was done well and also had the added bonus of letting me know there would be some kind of happy ending, and he would be with Marlena in the end. But the scenes were so well done that they made me uncomfortable; it's hard to see someone in their prime, and then at the end of life, and not feel very keenly your own mortality. Especially after reading this, I'm really hoping to live fast and die young. Seems better than 93 and in an old folks' home.

And I really didn't see the last two twists coming, so good job!

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Reading Progress

02/27/2012 page 136

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