I have really mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, it definitely kept me hooked and eagerly reading. On the other, oh God, I just wanted to shake Cath. I mean, being too scared to go to a new cafeteria? Seriously? Then I thought maybe the character legit has an anxiety disorder and I should be more empathetic. Then I realized, good or bad, it’s good writing if you have such strong feelings about a character within the first thirty pages.
The other not-so-great? Like a lot of YA, the main male character was just too perfect. I’m sorry, I’ve known a lot of really great, awesome, amazing guys (my husband, of course, being one of them) and even the greatest, most understanding of them would still be feeling and showing a lot more frustration than Levi did if their relationship is going nowhere sexually.
And…I’m not sure if this was intentional or not, but after finishing it (and with the ending making me go, “…huh. Okay. That’s it?”), I realized — the novel reads a little like fanfiction. The plot kind of meanders around with very little conflict for awhile, there’s random drama thrown in out of nowhere, there’s at least four or five plotlines that mostly get tied up towards the end…which reads like the author said “this is where I envisioned the story ending when I started writing it and this is how it’s gonna end, dammit, even though the story wound up going in a different direction.”
I think I’m being a little too harsh, now. There were some problems with this book, but it was still a pretty enjoyable read. I’d recommend Landline or Eleanor & Park over this one, though.
OH GOD I LOVED THIS. Like Amy writes, I went from laughing to crying to laughing throughout this book. Like everyone else, I want to be her best friend. I love that she didn’t try to make up any drama about her childhood or invent a bunch of “obstacles” she had to overcome. Her friendship with Seth Meyers is portrayed so sweetly. Her stories about SNL were delightful behind-the-scenes peeks. Her tales about her time with Second City and the Upright Citizens Brigade are downright hilarious. She doesn’t hit you over the head with wisdom and advice, she just lays out “here’s what happened to me, here’s what I’ve learned, here’s what I think, take it or leave it.” Just. So. Good.
Also — I was really impressed with the quality of the book itself, which, if you haven’t picked up a copy, is printed full-color, on heavy-duty, glossy paper. Definitely grab the hardcover, even though it’s more expensive than the paperback will be and you already have the audiobook (she reads the audiobook, right? I want that, too).
(P.S. I’m heading over to Life of Bon today, where she’s talking about Yes Please for her monthly book club.)
My favorite Rowell novel so far, hands down. I really enjoyed the back and forth perspectives and how she portrayed mid-80s high school without making it sound too much like a John Hughes movie. I was seriously disturbed, though, by the sections about Eleanor’s home life. As in, what the actual fuck is wrong with her mother? Where the hell are child services? Why is no one noticing what a shit situation those kids are in and doing anything about it?
Again, good writing elicits such strong emotional reactions. Whatever I think about Rowell’s books, she’s really good at getting me emotionally invested.
AND THE ENDING. Guh. I don’t want to give away spoilers, but I need to discuss that with someone. If you’ve read it, wanna email me and tell me what you think she wrote?
What are you reading? Should I get Attachments next?