I’m taking part in the Bout of Books 21 Read-a-thon from Jan 8 to 14.
My goal for Bout of Books 21 is to read and review 3 books.
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 8 and runs through Sunday, January 14 in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 21 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team
ALL THE FAVORITES!
We all have our bookish favorites so why don’t we share? Share with us!
- Favorite Book Covers Pinterest board
- Favorite Book review blog herdingcats-burningsoup (I like Anna’s sytle)
- Favorite Book Character Kvothe
- Favorite currently-reading book series Red Queen
- Favorite Book by Myself Fractions of Existence
Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,892 Paid in Kindle Store
#58 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Psychological
#99 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
#537 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Literary
I’m giving it 4 stars because 3.7 isn’t an option. I’m willing to round up because there were a few spots that made me laugh.
(‘”But you’re Canadian.” “Yes,” he admitted, “but I’m not very good at it.”” — Ha ha ha! Loved that.)
The first half of this book (or the Necklace chapter and everything before it) most definitely felt like literary fiction. I just couldn’t get into it, and couldn’t figure out the purpose of most of it. I suspect that the more social anxiety a reader has experienced, the more they could enjoy Rachel, the main character. I was not especially fond of her. But I hung in, because the book was raved about as a psychological thriller mystery, so I figured it’d get better.
Which it did, for a while. And then it slowed again. And then it rocketed off and abruptly ended with barely any conclusion. At that point, I was left wondering if the author wrote the last 60% of the book first, and then some readers said they couldn’t understand how the main character could change so much, what her motivations were, and suggested that she didn’t feel real; at which point the first 40% of the book was written. I don’t know, but that’s how it felt to me, personally. On the other hand, the first part is like a literary reflection of the second part.
I’m also not sure if I should recommend this book to friends with social anxiety (“Look! A character with whom you can identify.”) or not (“She gets over it using good old-fashioned outrage. Have you tried just being really pissed off?”). I can’t tell if Rachel would be relatable or offensive, honestly.
It’s interesting that Rachel’s mother considered her own book to be a “con job.” Worrying about not being able to write a worthy follow-up caught my attention.
The description of living with someone who one has to fight with every day, the state of perpetual war, I’ve known too many people who could relate to that bit. Knowing someone as well as anyone does, and yet not knowing someone at all, that too I can totally understand. In the chapter titled “Refraction,” where Rachel thinks about her book, and it describes good and bad writing days, that scene I found extremely relatable and enjoyable.
“She’d woken this morning in a great mood. All she’d wanted since was to keep that mood alive. She just wanted to stay happy for a day.” — Those lines really got to me. There’s a whole star earned just for that part, as far as I’m concerned.
There’s a character in the book who is described as smelling like Lightning, which I found interesting. And the mention of tragedy fatigue, how difficult it is for journalists to keep people caring about a subject after weeks, or days, of things getting worse instead of better– that part I found thought-provoking. I’m also wondering if everyone really does have a fixed age for themselves in their mind’s eye. In the “Safe House” chapter, the origin of the title of the book seemed to become clear.
But then there were parts I didn’t care for at all. A page or two of untagged dialog that I found irritating to follow. And parts like, “He raised her gun. At least she thought he raised her gun. No, he did. He raised it.” made me roll my eyes. And scenes she imagines, though it isn’t ever mentioned they’re imagined (though it’s easy to conclude), took me out of the story.
“It was the voice of home, but not home the reality, home as a construct, home as an ideal.” That line was one of my favorites from this book.
And I enjoyed the line with “discarding of American industry, this switch from a culture that made things of value to a culture that consumed things of dubious merit.” It reminds me of something the “civilized” elders I know are always going on about.
This book and author were both something new I tried. Weather was a vital part of the story (which is my chosen trope).
Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane
LOST!: A themed anthology 2017