December 1, 2017

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You know I’m busy when I only read one book in a month. I honestly don’t think that has happened to me since I graduated from school.

I keep picking things up and putting them back down, not really able to get into anything. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been so busy or what, but I really hope that my reading rut will be over in December!

But I did read The Beyond Words Bloggers Book Club book, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

But the problem with rules, he reflected, was that they implied a right way and a wrong way to do things. When, in fact, most of the time there were simply ways, none of them quite wrong or quite right, and nothing to tell you for sure which side of the line you stood on.” – Little Fires Everywhere

This was another one of those over-marketed, highly anticipated book that just fell flat for me. I was so excited to get this book but it wasn’t really about what I was expecting it to be about.

From what I had read about the book, I was expecting a sort of Stepford Wives or Pleasantville story, so the actual plot took me for a loop. I didn’t know much about the novel other than it took place in an idyllic town where everything is planned and orderly. Maybe that’s why I didn’t love the book so much. From Goodreads:

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned — from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren — an enigmatic artist and single mother — who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

While I thought that the plot was compelling, I didn’t find the characters that well developed. I was mostly interested in the plot about the McCulloughs, who adopted the baby, and Bebe, her mother who left her at a fire station, desperate and suffering from post-partum depression. I was hoping that there would be more complexity to this part of the novel, but it was very one-sided.

This randomly made me think of The Light Between Oceans, which has a similar but different plot about a baby. What I loved about that book was while you hated a lot of the characters and wanted to scream about them for their choices, you understood their motivations and exactly why they did what they did.

So what have you been reading lately? Please comment and let me know! I’m dying for a good book!!

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6 responses to “What I read in November”

  1. Carly says:

    Thank you for this review! I keep seeing this book and it just doesn’t call to me for some reason, but I’ve wondered if I should still give it a try- I think I’ll skip over it for now. I just finished The Leavers and it was one of my favorite books of the year! It’s also about a Chinese-American boy who gets adopted (not as a baby)– it sounds completely different other than that small similarity from what you said about the plot.

  2. Audrey says:

    I’m glad you reviewed this one! I’ve seen nothing but great things about this book and it’s nice to get opposing views on something. Hopefully next month you read something that blows you away!

  3. Emma says:

    This sounds quite intriguing!

  4. Nadine says:

    Oh no! I hate when books are hyped up too much and fall flat. Which usually happens for me. And girl, I’m so behind on reading right now too! I only have one book done so far for my “book month” (I link up the second Tuesday of every month with Show Us Your Books) and last month I had around 10. Oops. ”Tis the season! Thanks for being honest on your thoughts.

  5. Laura says:

    I felt that way about Everything I Never Told You, which she also wrote. Most people loved it and while I thought it was fine, it didn’t live up to expectations!

  6. I totally didn’t have time to read anything this month either, even the book club book. Although part of the reason I couldn’t read it is because I still haven’t gotten it from the library! That’s a bummer that it fell flat for you, but I’m hoping that I’ll still have the chance to pick it up soon!

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