I was so excited to read this book because I had heard and read such positive comments. I guess I got caught up in the hype because this book did not live up to all expectations.
I quite liked the format and layout of the book. The text font and size were easy to read. The language and vocabulary wasn’t over the top. Having the dialect set up almost like diary entries, made the pace seem faster than it actually was. I did find though, that in my copy of the book, there were quite a few editing mishaps. Missing words, or the use of the wrong word and its tense. Just little things that should have been caught in the editing and print process. I’m not sure if this was a common issue in the majority of copies or just an unfortunate few.
I like the premise of the story. The idea of how humans perceive and interact with complete strangers is always fascinating.
At the start of the book the reader is lulled into a false sense of pacing. Under the impression that it is going to be unfolding at breakneck speeds of the autobahn. However, that isn’t the case, after the first few chapters, I realized that the story was actually going to unfold at the speed of a Sunday stroll with 90 year old grandparents.
Once I came to terms with the Sunday stroll. I noticed that all the characters, were every horrible, trashy cliché imaginable. Depressed, self-loathing, alcoholic. Egotistical, macho males. Good cop, bad cop. The Nancy d0-gooder, the enabler. The pretty blondes, who try to find validation through sex. All of them are cheaters. None of these characters are written with a single positive or redeeming quality. They are all unlikable. Which I’m sure was the point, but it makes for boring character building.
The story is a gloomy story, hence the negative stereotypes of the characters. If you like books on the dark side, then you might like this. Think of this book as “Gone Girl”-Extra Lite. It is very much lack luster. The progression is very linear from to start to end. There is so much potential for unexpected twists and turns that just aren’t there. I found it to be very repetitious through out, dragging it out needlessly. I feel like at least 50 pages could have been cut and the exact same story could have been told and would have been more engaging.
All in all, this isn’t the worst book I’ve read. It just didn’t live up to the hype. After reading it, I really didn’t understand why it garnered such raving reviews in the first place. I definitely wouldn’t put this on a must have reading list. If you are set on reading it, save your money and borrow it from the library or a friend. Better still, and as a book fanatic I rarely say this, but go see the movie instead. It comes out in October and the trailer looks like it has all the suspense the book is missing. Make a girls night of it. I don’t think you’ll miss much by skipping the book over the movie.