Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Review: Normal People

Normal People Normal People by Sally Rooney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A wondrous and wise coming-of-age love story from the celebrated author of Conversations with Friends

At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school football team, while she is lonely, proud and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers—one they are determined to conceal.

A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.
Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a story that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the complex entanglements of family and friendship.

I can’t say exactly why this novel had me so riveted. I think it is the way the author zeroes in on the character’s flaws and reveals motivation that the reader goes, “Ahhhhh. Of course!” Even readers who have psychology backgrounds and years of workplace experience will find the story and the historyilluminating.

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Review: Wilder Girls

Wilder Girls Wilder Girls by Rory Power
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I don’t like writing bad reviews. I will say that the plot has a lot of potential. An isolated all girls school where things have gone really, really wonky. I think the author should have stuck with that and really developed it rather than taking detours about sexuality and partly written dialogue addressing sexuality. There was also something to do with estrogen and how the teachers didn’t get the mutation or whatever as heavily yet the male groundskeeper did. The logic never quite made it to conclusion.

So much potential and so many detours leaving me, the reader, irritated that I spent the time reading the book to the nonconclusion.

I received this ARC from Netgalley.

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