Rate: 4.5/5 stars
(First book review of 2014! Woo!)
This was surprisingly a pretty damn amazing book! It took me about 100 pages to really get into the story, but after that, I quickly found myself zooming through the pages; I finished the remaining 250 pages in less than a day!
I think the slow start is due to the unique narrative of the main character. I guess this book would be classified as a contemporary, but it definitely had a different rhythm and tone than what I expected/am used to. The beginning few chapters were set about 10 years before the actual story does, and although the anecdotes were amusing, it was hard to pick up on what the story was going to be about. Then once we start fast-forwarding, it starts to make a little more sense. Still the story was a bit drab for me until the book store opens and the drama begins.
The characters were so well developed, and I really felt for them, except for Josh. I understand that the main character kind of snubs him throughout most of the book, but I just felt like his character was so flat compared to the others. The best characterization in my opinion was definitely the narrator, Cath. She was perfectly flawed, and hard to describe, and we loved her but hated her. I think what made the story so enjoyable (and at some times heartbreaking/frustrating) was that we saw it all through her eyes. Also every once and a while it was written like she was talking with the reader, like a quick aside. It worked so well with the flow of the novel, and made Cath even more relatable.
The story was wonderfully paced, and it was emotional without being overwhelming. Really it was an almost perfect story telling. I loved that there were a couple of twists that were expertly placed to spice up the plot. The ending was absolutely perfect, and summed up the story with ease. When I closed the book after finishing, I had a few tears and small smile. That to me is how I should feel after every book: emotionally drained but satisfied.
Although this book didn’t get a perfect rating from me, it has become one of my favorites. It had a light feeling without avoiding any of the bulk that makes a good story. This was my first read from the author Jane Green, but I own a few of her others and I plan to read them asap. I was genuinely impressed with this novel, and I have high hopes for the others.
(This one wasn’t a blathering mess! Probably because I waited a couple of hours to write it, and I actually organized my thoughts before hand. Concepts.)
(Also have some examples of the other book edition covers, that are way cuter than mine.)