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meh

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-02-2020

I know there has been a lot of hype, and I bought it because of that but it just didn't do it for me. Found it quite tedious , with no real character development (I didn't care enough about any of the characters to worry what might happen to them) or plot line. It meandered and waffled along, yawn,

Killing Floor cover art

For lovers of Dan Brown perhaps?

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-11-2017

If you think Dan Brown is a great author you may well enjoy this. I, however, found It just.. really really bad.
In fairness, I have never been a huge fan of the genre, but i "accidentally" read a Jo Nesbo book a while ago & I have gone since on to enjoy every single Harry Hole novel in the series. I was hoping that the Jack Reacher stories would compare. They don't. Characters are cardboard archetypes. The women are pathetic. The male protagonist is simply unlikeable, & the whole book was filled with far too much machismo - it's like a young man/boy writing his fantasy life; taking on the big bad guys and whipping them single handedly while the love interest girl simply cannot help but fall for his "ice blue eyes". Gack. Without any of the cleverness and anti hero failings of Nesbo's books. Life is too short to waste on bad books. Not even worth finishing. I simply do not care about or like ANY of the characters, especially the titular one.

icky. Avoid.

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-09-2017

Would you try another book written by Bryn Greenwood or narrated by Jorjeana Marie?

No. The narrator was fine. The writing was fine. The story was really icky. There were many moments that I found really disturbing- not in a good way; not in a clever way. It seemed the author spent a lot of the book justifying sexual grooming and sleeping with minors. Many times I nearly stopped listening all together, but kept going, thinking there would be some resolution at the end. there wasn't. the end was tacky and really really...ick. The groomer got the girl. Society was wrong for misunderstanding their true love. Because, you know, 13 year old's who are under developed physically and (completely, devastatingly, emotionally damaged), are totally able to differentiate between love and sexual gratification. Especially when they are such good cooks and cleaners and know how to take care of their man, and he's like, loved her since he met her when she was 8. yep. nothing dodgy about that (she said with deep cynicism)Don't be fooled. This is not Lolitta. Its like Lolitta without the intellectual barriers, It was impossible for me to get over the whole "sex-with-minors-is-actually-ok-if-you're- in-love" aspect. Would have been embarrassed to have anyone overhear me listening to it. especially when the sex scenes. I'm not sure if the author was trying to be shocking by graphically describing a 13 year old talking about how wet she got, or if he was just getting off on it. Some sideline stories about drug addiction & a fairly limp who dunnit murder. Lots of nasty "trailer park" stereo types (yes, all poor people are drunks/drug addicts who abuse & neglect their children). The more I reflect on it, the more I regret reading it! I almost feel implicated in the ickyness just by having read this book. And it's insidious - you don't realise until you are "hooked" into finding out what happens.It's kind of like, if you were reading a story about world war II, got engaged in the characters and then suddenly realised it was written by a holocaust denier who was peddling their racist xenophobia under the guise of fiction. I realise that, as a reader, I was manipulated to sympathise with a character who, intentionally or not, groomed and manipulated a really vulnerable child into "loving" them, who then encourages a sexual relationship to develop, and the whole message of the book was that that's ok. Yuck. So So So not ok.

Would you ever listen to anything by Bryn Greenwood again?

Nope.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

She could have avoided making the 13 year old sound (and later 21 year old) sound even younger, The voice of Wavy was stuck around the 8 year old age, which made the sexual parts even more horrific to listen to. Was this intentional? If so, why?

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

disgust & the need to go have a good wash

Any additional comments?

maybe I am missing some big picture. I don't think so. I have no idea who the book is aimed at, as the "love story" components are stereotypical chick lit romance, but the sex is middle-aged-man-in-overcoat. I'm really cross that nothing in the blurb indicated what this story was actually about - a man's love affair with a child. Should come with a warning,

3 people found this helpful

The History of Love cover art

Joins my "best book ever" list

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-02-2017

A beautiful multi layered story, fabulously brought to life by the narrators. Laughed out loud, cried, thought deeply about life and all it's terrible tragic beauty. A story that is worth the time and circuitous route; a story that will linger in head & heart long after you finish it. Favourite quote "& I realised there is not much that is unbearable".

Most Unlikeable Protagonist Ever

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 20-01-2017

Hard to say which of these characters is most unlikeable. Lily, the protagonist, is... awful. And I think the author intends us to empathise with her. Find some common ground; feel linked by human frailties etc etc. nope. She's shallow, self righteous, self obsessed, money obsessed, immoral, hypocritical... totally unlikeable. She has an excuse for every one of her terrible actions & manages to blame other people & circumstance for absolutely everything. The other characters are equally totally unlikeable - to such an extent that I nearly stopped listening several times - I just didn't care. They were all equally horrible & deserving of disaster. Sadly, it felt like the author wanted to make a grand statement about the monster within all of us, the good/bad dichotomy. But the story was fairly pedestrian. Predictable & ultimately an unsatisfying " not quite" at the end. The Italian characters were portrayed as quaint & naive "peasant" folk, & the claims about Aspergers syndrome were really generalised & somewhat stereotypical. I wouldn't read anything else by the author on the "strength" of this.

3 people found this helpful

Hmm, still undecided

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-09-2016

I thought I would love this book. And I did. Kind of. It also irritated me quite a bit . Tasters and characters sketched lightly when I wanted more depth - never felt like there was time to get to know the characters, to engage with or care for them. Some of the science also seemed a little sketchy. But. That said there were other things I loved - the lack of melodrama. The honesty of the love stories - parental love, married love, the way we deal with loss of love and loved ones, with grief . So. It only gets 3 stars because in the end I feel strangely unsatisfied

cover art

Wrenching but rewarding: & Fore warnings

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-06-2016

I knew nothing about this book except the online blurb, so I was not sure what to expect. First up, this book contains descriptions of violence; violence against children, sexual exploitation of children, and self harm. Some descriptions are graphic. It is an important part of the narrative and therefore recurring. This book was not an easy listen. There were times when it felt too graphic, too sad to continue. There were times when it felt so overwhelmingly depressing I wondered why I was putting myself through it.

But. It was also compelling. Addictively so. The central characters get under your skin and I was emotionally invested in the final outcome.

I sometimes felt scenario's were too fantastical, too unbelievable, but there may have been an element of self preservation & an unwillingness to acknowledge the darker side of human nature on my part.

At its heart it is a story about life - the things that make a life, the things we desire, the things we need, the small, simple treasures we often take for granted. In this sense, I found it strangely uplifting.

It is not an emotionally easy read but it is an assured one, beautifully written. I would seek out more work by this writer on the strength of this.

It will stay with me a long time I think.