Andi's Reviews > We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
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's review
Aug 06, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: library, seriously-thought-provoking
Read from August 30 to October 31, 2011

I went on a real journey with this book. I picked it up on recommendation from a friend and after reading the first few chapters, I began asking myself whether or not I should continue reading. It's not that it wasn't interesting; indeed the event around which the book revolves is controversial and, due to our natural tendency to be drawn towards other people's private lives and tragedy, is intriguing, but I believe the fact that it's written in the format of letters to Franklin makes it hard for the author to create suspense. In addition to this, the vocabulary which is diverse is sometimes too obscure making it hard on the reader, even a reader with a good vocabulary.

I took a break from the book, thinking that perhaps if I went back to it in a few weeks with a fresh pair of eyes and a different frame of mind, I might find it easier to read. But after returning to the book, I still found little to grab my attention, to make me gasp in surprise, to make me think, 'Ooh, I certainly wasn't expecting THAT to happen!' By half way through I was almost ready to give up, only spurred on by my own obsessive need not to leave a book half read.

Then about half way through, an event suddenly creates some suspense and the story builds around this making it instantly more interesting. So after struggling to keep going through the first half of the book, I could not now put it down. The storyline was gripping; I wanted to know how this would turn out. From that point onwards I knew I was not going to put this book down until I had finished. It was fantastic.

The author has written about things we don't want to think about. As a mother, reading this book is, of course, thought provoking, but it's also frustrating. I found myself wanting to shout at Franklin, not understanding why nobody could see what Eva could. I kept asking myself the same questions, long after I finished the book; was it her fault? What if...?

This is a book I will not forget for a long time. When the Daily Mail stated that it was 'Harrowing', they were not exaggerating. It's a book I would recommend to others with warnings. 1. Keep reading, no matter how hard going it is. 2.Don't make assumptions.

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Reading Progress

08/30/2011 page 33
8.0% "This book was recommended to me. I'm not sure yet whether or not I like it. My initial feeling at this stage is that I love the variety and quality of vocabulary, but that the pace is quite slow and I think the letters-to-Franklin format may get too much. However, I'm looking forward to hearing the whole story of Kevin and his family,; it's certainly an engaging topic."
09/09/2011 page 74
19.0% "I'm finding this hard reading. It's slow paced and I find myself drifting off from it. I'm taking a break, though, as it's a library book and has been requested by another reader. Have re-reserved so I'll get it again in a few weeks' time. May be good to come back with a fresh approach to it."
10/26/2011 page 326
50.0% "The pace has not improved and I don't find myself reading this late into the night unable to put it down."

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Nicole (new) - added it

Nicole Oh my god I have been really wanting to read this book! I'm so jealous!

Andi Nicole wrote: "Oh my god I have been really wanting to read this book! I'm so jealous!"
Well, it took me long enough to read it. It was really hard going and I almost gave up. I'd love to hear what you thought of it when you get around to reading it.

Lesley Green and I be that friend .... Have you seen the film? I though about it but I don't think I want to go there again.

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