I can’t figure out how to feel about this book.
Review to come.
This is one of the only books I’ve read where I’ve had so much in common with the main character. I also have an older sister, I play the clarinet, etc. But honestly, I didn’t want to have anything in common with the main character, Lennie, at all. Mostly because I completely hated her for most of the book.
See, for the first half of the book, all Lennie can think about is (a), her sister’s death, (b), her sister’s boyfriend, and (c), sex.
I don’t understand. Her sister just died, and she’s going and almost having sex with her dead sister’s boyfriend?! WTF is wrong with her?
I mean, I can’t even with her. I can’t even.
And I get that people grieve differently, I really do. But she knows what she is doing is wrong, she acknowledges it, and then she goes and does it again.
TSTL character? Check. Did I hate her? Heck yeah.
And Lennie was basically my main issue with the book. I could not sympathize with her, I could not smile with her, I could not cry with her. In fact, through most of the book, I felt nothing other than some disgust.
And the love triangle-shape-line thing? Hated it. Hated it. Honestly, I’m not much of a romance person. Give me some action and adventure any day, but on occasion, if it’s done well, I love a good romance. This was not one of those times.
Lennie also struck me as kind of a Mary Sue. If she’s the sideshow she claims to be, then why do two boys instantly want to get into her pants and why does the latter of the two fall in love with her?
Does. Not. Compute.
But as in Jandy Nelson’s other book, I’ll Give You the Sun, the ending of the book kind of redeemed the rest of it. It was when Lennie finally fell that I could sympathize, and it was then that I finally felt a little sad for Bailey’s death. I could finally ship her with Joe without completely hating the romance. However, even if the ending made the book a little better, it didn’t redeem it fully. I still could not stand Lennie, but I was glad that she kind of learned from her mistakes in the end.
That’s about it. End reaction:
One last thing:
Joe grabs the bottle of wine and drinks. “Moral of the story: Violinists are insane.”
As a violinist for almost seven years now, I felt slightly offended at that.
I was listening to the radio the other day, and ‘Hotline Bling’ by Drake came on. The lyrics go, “You used to call me on my cell phone, late night when you need my love” and when I heard that, the first thing I thought of was a scene from this book. It was hilarious XD