Hi, Hey, Hello!
I have officially made it a quarter of the way through this year’s reading challenge and we are only 7 weeks into the year. Yay!
So, unlucky number 13 was this one:
I used the term unlucky because I was not a fan of this book for the most part, don’t let the fact that I read it in a couple of days fool you… It had similar vibes to Holding Up the Universe in that it was readable, easy to read and was pretty much your standard YA romance. Only it drove me up the wall from almost the get go, which Niven’s book didn’t do. I liked that one. I tolerated this one. In fact I think I only finished it was because I liked Sutherland’s style of writing, I wanted to see if in some way it could be redeemed and I hate not finishing books (Moby Dick, I hate you more than words can say, but I will damned if I don’t read the second half of that book).
But the style of writing is pretty much the only redeeming feature I could find by the time that I closed the back cover and was put face to face with the blurb. Oh actually, I quite liked the ending because it felt like a version of the most realistic version of what could happen. I found it a bit rushed on some level, but by that point I just sort of happy that it was being wrapped up. And that sounds so horrible, but this just isn’t my kind of book.
The story itself was pretty obvious which was fine, I expected nothing less. But after a couple of chapters (or so) I sort of became very disinterested because I could tell where it was going and then it just became annoying. Grace was obviously transferring her feelings and try and deny it as he might Henry was definitely falling for the girl that she was and not the one right in front of him. And also I hate the Manic Pixie trope. It’s up there as one of my least favourite things you can do to a female character, it’s the thing I need gone most. It lost me right there. And when it was brought up by the characters themselves it annoyed me a bit more because to me it then got self aware…I didn’t see the fact that she was literally living in her dead boyfriend’s room coming even though I was hella suspicious of her actual living situation. But other than that, I could kind of plot along with it and not be too surprised.
Character wise I was not a fan of Henry, which isn’t the most convenient of positions to be in when he is the narrator of the whole thing. He grated on me and there were multiple points where I wanted him to just stop and listen to his friends’ warnings, they talked sense. Henry just didn’t wanna listen. And to some degree I got it all, that whole first love thing kind of messing you up makes total sense, but then it just felt like a massive cliche that I associate with 90’s romcoms. Grace had the potential to be a great character and I think it would have been nice to see the way she viewed things, (I don’t mean to keep comparing it to Niven’s work, but kind of like that. The way that story was told stopped me from strongly disliking either protagonist.) but she was, to me at least, just boiled down to that Manic Pixie trope and given no real substance. The same can be said for his two best friends as well. They had moments of brilliance, but for the most part they just felt ind of there.
Oh, my favourite part of the whole book was Sadie talking about love/relationships. It felt like the only sane thing that was said in the whole book. It made some great points and was beautifully written. I connected with it on a personal level, it was the only time I felt truly invested in the book and for that reason I wished there was bit more of her because Sadie was an interesting character to me. Although maybe the fact that she appeared in occasional flashes of brilliance is what I liked about her and is why I loved that particular part of the book.
This book just wasn’t for me. There were elements of it that I enjoyed but for the most part it wasn’t my cup of tea. I would read another book written by Sutherland because I liked her writing style, just not this book. Which I’m a little bit sad about. But ah well.
Parentheses count: 3. See you tomorrow!
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