Adrienne's Reviews > The Blessings of the Animals

The Blessings of the Animals by Katrina Kittle
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Nov 24, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: animals, library, first-person, fluff
Read in November, 2010

Okay, this is not my kind of book. I admit that. But I gave it a try anyway, and I'm not surprised that I didn't like it.

It's told (mostly) from the point of view of Cami, a veterinarian whose husband leaves her one morning when she's out on a humane society rescue. This is a common theme for her: rescuing animals. Throughout the book, we learn that her husband has rescued her from anorexia, and finally, at the end, she learns to rescue herself and live happily without necessarily needing a man. Phew.

Strike one: while the book is mostly in first person, the author intersperses a few chapters every so often from someone else's point of view. I typically don't like books with multiple points of view, but I do (sometimes grudgingly) admit that it's necessary for the story the authors wants to tell. That was not true in this book! Mainly I felt like I was getting hit over my head with dramatic irony in these sections, and it didn't really further Cami's story at all. I'm sorry: we don't get to know what her husband thinks from his point of view unless Cami can figure it our (or unless we can read between the lines). Not cool. And then? The chapter from her friend's point of view where she waxes on and on about how she is going to break up with her boyfriend? Hah! Sucker! We already know he's going to propose. I could barely stand the heavy-handedness of it. And then there were more useless chapters narrated by her mother-in-law and her childhood best friend's mother. Seriously. For me, they did not add anything.

Strike two: while the author used fairly specific details, I didn't feel either like they added to the story or were well-placed. For example, we find out the contents of Cami's purse, including a pack of notes from a veterinary medicine company. We already know she's a vet! Second, and more importantly, background stories were often placed immediately where they were needed, and not scattered throughout the book in a cohesive fashion that tied everything together. For example, the author would write "...some statement from Cami..." and then "...some background story to back up this statement and show how it's true..." but that was the end of it. Ideally, these little snippets of information would be woven in to the narrative and not placed simply where they were needed.

Strike three: the author was clearly trying to make me, as a woman, feel like I was in some sort of girls-only-club. Lines like (and I'm paraphrasing) "we went for ice cream - because everyone knows that ice cream is what you need after a breakup" or other little asides from the main character just made me feel that the author was saying, "wink, wink, nudge, nudge, look at how we all bond together as women!" But I suppose I should have known that's what I was getting into when I started the book.

Overall, not my kind of book. But I suppose if chick lit is what you're looking for, this is a possibility.
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