Saturday, October 9, 2021

Mini - Comments

The following two books weren't great for me. One of them I was kind of ready to not like it much, for it's the sequel to another one I wasn't dazzled by, but since I had agreed to buddy read it with a friend, I kept my word and read it. 

The other one is by a new-to-me author and years ago I saw positive comments about it. That made me curious enough to try it and I finally did, but it turned out to be something OK for the genre but not amazing to me.

Prickly, wry, resistant to change yet ruthlessly honest and deeply empathetic, Olive Kitteridge is “a compelling life force” (San Francisco Chronicle). The New Yorker has said that Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” and she has never done so more clearly than in these pages, where the iconic Olive struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby, Maine. Whether with a teenager coming to terms with the loss of her father, a young woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment, a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush, or a lawyer who struggles with an inheritance she does not want to accept, the unforgettable Olive will continue to startle us, to move us, and to inspire us—in Strout’s words—“to bear the burden of the mystery with as much grace as we can.”

Comment: This is the sequel to the hyped Olive Kitteridge, a book I read and liked some parts but that didn't feel as great as it seemed it was for many other readers. I found the writing style to be unappealing to em and I was surprised there was no linear narrative. The books was a collection of short-stories reunited in a way where the time line makes sense but the protagonist, common link between them all, wasn't even a great heroine. Now, this second book carries on the same vein but I must admit protagonist Olive seemed more likable...perhaps because she is an old woman and her thoughts felt very realistic and gave food for thought. It is true some passages were profound and it can be obvious the author planned well how to convey certain ideas by her protagonist. Olive's relationships with people she knows, her son, people she meets when she goes on to living assistance, all this allows us to understand her a little better but deep down, I feel the goal wasn't as well achieved as it could and the book ended up not leaving me with any kind of closure.

Grade: 4/10


Former Ranger Medic Lucky James feels right at home working long night shifts in the ER, but less so during the day, when his college classes are filled with flirtatious co-eds. When his 19-year-old chem lab partner shows up at his work with dinner for "her Lucky," he quickly enlists the help of Rachel Dellinger, a nurse and fellow third shift "vampire".
Rachel is a people pleaser at heart, but she's finally decided enough is enough when it comes to her on-again, off-again boyfriend. When Lucky begs Rachel to help him ward off the advances of his teenager pursuer, she blackmails him into helping move her things out of the apartment she shared with her ex into a place all her own.
From there a friendship is born between two people just trying to make it through the night. Neither are living in the past or planning for the future. Until one day changes everything.

Comment: I saw positive comments about this book years ago. As often happens, it has languished in the TBR pile until now and I must say I wasn't as amazed as I hoped. The story is focused on Lucky James, who left the military life to become a doctor but he's finding civilian life quite complicated. The heroine is the sister of soldier friend who died and the family didn't react well. Now, both lucky and heroine Rachel work in the same hospital and they talk, make peace and become friends. As the story develops we get to see them becoming closer but their lives aren't perfect and there's a lot to overcome. At first I liked this story but as things progressed, I started to become less and less invested in what was happening. I wasn't too fond of the heroine's personality and her choices, the hero felt more mature but with all that was going on, I started to loose interest in him too. I've finished the book and structurally there's nothing wrong but I just didn't feel the appeal nor did I finish wanting to read more by the author.

Grade: 4/10

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