Book Review Quickies

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for books lately… I need something fantastic, stat!

oliveOlive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout

A collection of short stories focused on or related to the main character, Olive Kitteridge, this book was actually an interesting look at life in this small town.  I enjoyed several of the stories, but around halfway through, I started feeling weighed down by how sad all of them were.  I was really hoping for just a few glimpses of happiness, to balance out the reality of the rest of life, but this wasn’t the book for that.  It got a little difficult to finish.  5/10 mangoes

middlesexMiddlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides

I keep trying to like Eugenides and I thought this might be the book to do it.  If I had just read the first half (focusing on Callie’s grandparents and her time growing up) I would have scored it much higher, but I think the author lost his voice when Callie decided to make the switch to Cal.  Maybe it’s my own naivete, but I also found Cal’s experiences hitchhiking and in California off a bit, a little unbelievable to her character.  5/10 mangoes

gonegirlGone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

I really wanted to love this book and it started off SO promisingly.  It was definitely a page turner. But, I have to admit the misogynistic language got to be too much for me (so very repetitive and insistent).  I really enjoyed the story and plot up until the end.  But what an anticlimactic way to end a psychological thriller.  I got the feeling that the author didn’t know how to end it, so the story just petered out.  Unfortunately, 6/10 mangoes

velocityYou Shall Know Our Velocity, by Dave Eggers

After enjoying Zeitoun so much, I was happy to find out that a coworker had another of Eggers’ books he would loan me while C was convalescing.  The build up and the story was interesting but I only made it about halfway through.  Once we started hanging out in Will’s psyche, and things started getting a bit repetitive, I finally had to admit that I wasn’t going to be able to finish this one. I think I’ll try Eggers’ memoir next. 3/10 mangoes

But first I think I’ll read Little Women.  I need a sure thing!

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