Top critical review
A time read maybe!
Reviewed in India on 16 September 2020
This book is narrated in the first person by a girl named Frances who is studying in Dublin and her best friend, who is also her ex-girlfriend, Bobby. Frances is thoughtful and cool whereas, Bobbi is effervescent and charming. In the first two chapters, they met up a married couple, Mellisa and Nick. This whole book works around this rectangular dynamic and the different connections that can spring up between them.
I feel that I didn’t appreciate the theme of the storyline of the book because I crave for stability, trust and healthy relationships in life which helps you grow and not intoxicating, emotional roller-coasters that people look out nowadays and then call them as complicated.
It takes a deeper analysis of the nature and responses of these four people towards everything and each other. Like how one moves and responds to the actions or feelings of another.
What I feel that the book lacked is the depth, same what I felt for Normal People. Not once did I feel any connection with the characters. The characters were very flat and lacked self-esteem and to be honest, self-loathing was too much to bear. It’s just that none of us would ever know these characters because these characters do not want to be known.
“You underestimate your power so you don't have to blame yourself for treating other people badly.”
I was very confused with the character of Frances because as the book moves forward, Frances’ main conflict was that she is unable to allow others to see her vulnerability, to see that she cares for them or is hurt by them or even that she simply enjoys their company. She wishes to be cool and distant and people somehow find her to be lovely. I feel this is just “too complicated” to explain yet again.
It is a book with small instances of vulnerability, insecurity, humanity, and tenderness. The themes of the books, from my point of view, were loneliness and the need to connect with others and they were very poorly discussed or presented. You can feel how high the walls of these characters were just to protect them from falling apart again and at points, it just seems too much to take in.
The writing style of the author was not at all satisfactory. It kind of bored me. I didn’t see any exclamation point and every sentence of the book ended in a period or question mark. The words had no passion or depth at all, just plain and impassive.
This book just isn’t for me and I wouldn’t be suggesting this to my reader friends.