As far as book groups go, A Court of Books and Bullshit were very bad last year at 1) writing reviews after reading the book (or not reading the book) and 2) sticking within the time frame that the book must be read. But anyway, our reading “year” begins in spring, so we’re not totally pants yet! Lauren and I are still in it to win it! So then, let’s catch up with two book reviews in one post…
A Man Called Ove
We did not like this. We agreed to preserver to at least 100 pages, and it still did not win us over.
Ove was just so unpleasant that we really didn’t want to see “how his heart warmed.” The worst part about his unpleasantness was that its clear this is meant to be funny. ‘Haha, he’s so rude and racist to people, it’s funny because that’s mean.’ I honestly don’t know how his wife put up with him.
We liked the chapters that flashed back to Ove’s youth. They were interesting both historically and for the character development. Ove was more direct and clear in his morals, rather than aggressive and nasty.
The real nail in the coffin for me was his cliche “foreign bimbo overly nice neighbours,” who were obviously going to force their way into Ove’s life, despite his hostility towards them, and be the spark that made him cheer up and be less downright horrid.
I know this isn’t much of a description, but the phrase we both agree on that sums up why we flinched when reading it is because it’s totally “boomer humour” and we hated it.
Did not finish.
The Seven Deaths of Eveyln Hardcastle
Lauren couldn’t get into this but I made it to the end and mostly had a good time getting there. Sadly, I needed the story to spell the murder mystery out for me, because I simply had no clue of who did what, when, why, or how by myself.
The events of the story all happen within a single day, told completely out of order and from seven different perspectives – those seven perspectives being the same person who is body-swapping against his will.
I enjoyed it, but this really, really, really hurt my head. And it’s annoying that there is such a lacking character list, because I struggled to remember names/who was who and that’s genuinely not like me.
This is a unique mystery with many, many, sharp twists, but I say sharp because I feel like I was constantly being spun 180 degrees and expected to understand/keep up with what was happening. Or why it was significant. And most of the time I was just very confused.
Compelled. But confused.
Thank god everything is explained chronologically and from start to finish in the final chapter, because I was close to being annoyed by the delivery of information at the last 80 pages. But it settles down and holds your hand eventually, for which I am grateful. I give it a solid 3 out of 5 stars for its ambition and distinct character view points – the bodies our main character in habits were all brilliantly different personalities.