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Utter and complete ridiculous nonsense -- with apologies to the author. (But really the publisher and professional reviewers that hyped this so much should apologize to me.) I admire anyone that can make a living writing and have to think long and hard before I put a totally bad review down, but this was soooooo bad! The Texas cheerleader moms look sane in comparison to this populace, whom all seem to have drank from the same Kool-aid in the gymnasium.
I missed any touted *similarity* to Tanya and Nancy...they were tied together in a nasty competition, and one was criminally not-right...but they didn't go to these outrageous (unbelievable) extremes, AND didn't have a whole booster club helping them out with the shenanigans.
One of the top 10 worst books I've ever read, possibly the new standard by which I judge future crap-reads and extreme over hyped marketing. "The book to beat...in the 'Is it the next Gone Girl?' sweepstakes." (Janet Maslin, New York Times) Seriously? No, really? Well; If you have a manuscript and have been turned down a million times, now's your chance and here is your publisher.
38 of 46 people found this review helpful
Having been on something of a thriller kick lately, and having read an interview with the author in the New York Times a week or so ago, I had high hopes for this one, but ultimately I found it just does not deliver on its early promise and definitely does not live up to the hype. It's probably worth 3 1/2 stars overall just because the darkly creepy story does pull the reader in and cause him/her to want to slog through to the finish line just to see what happens. But a lot of readers are going to be rolling their eyes well before the ending at the implausible motivations and incredible stupidity of the actions of the main characters. Readers will also likely be annoyed by some instances of poor writing (early on, a female character is said to be "towering, at five feet seven inches tall" [??]), wacky mispronunciations and vocal choices on the part of the narrator, plot holes big enough for Nadia Comaneci to somersault through, and unresolved loose ends galore. But I think the core problem here is that even though the story is full of what the author describes in her NYT review as "witchy energy," with tons and tons of ominous foreshadowing (e.g., the main character's cell ring tone is Assassin's Tango, fer crying out loud), she was unable to decide which kind of storyline she wanted to pursue (unreliable narrator as in Gone Girl? Husband as devil as in Girl on the Train? Demon spawn, as in The Bad Seed, or Doris Lessing's The Fifth Child?), so she pursued them all, ultimately to little effect. I agree with the previous reviewer who said that aside from the excessively lisping, Cassandra-like little brother, there's not a single character here to like or identity with. There's literally not even a real ending to the story; the reader feels cheated at the end of this grueling marathon when not even rewarded with the results of the big gymnastics event. I can't honestly recommend this book to friends and followers, but if you were not bothered by plot inconsistencies and shaky character motivations in The Life We Bury, it's possible you'll like this too. Grade: C. Bechdel test: Pass.
19 of 24 people found this review helpful