Friday, February 20, 2015

Love, Twue Love

How much love is enough?  

#20 - Time Traveler's Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Recommended by: MJ

Many years ago, I was discussing Buffy the Vampire Slayer with my college roommate. She hated it, I loved it. When I asked her why, she said, in what has become an infamous quote in my household, “Well, it would have been fine except for all the vampires.” I can assure you there was much sputtering and ridiculous pontificating on my part because obviously, vampires were the whole goddamn point! Right there in the title – VAMPIRES! She and I remain the closest of friends, mostly because we have agreed to disagree on almost all forms of popular culture.

Anyway, I was reminded of this conversation upon reading this book. I’m not a fan of time travel (excluding Doctor Who, of course). Well, to be clear, the entire thought of being stranded Captain America-like (or Buck Rogers for the retro nerds) in the future, without friends, or family, or skills, or money, etc., is my worst fear. Rip Van Winkle is not a child’s fable, it is a horror story. The other problem with time travel is that it is a Mobius strip of inconsistency. This happens because that happened, but can’t happen until this happens, which only happens because that happened. And so on. I just can’t get on board with such nonsense. However, the redeeming part of the love story was actually, strangely enough, the actual love story. The characters never do or say what you would expect, so it was really interesting to see how they would react to whatever life threw at them. I think they were so strongly written that the plot device could have been war, or famine, disease or disaster and the relationship between the two lovers would have been just as fascinating. I really loved Clare and Henry. I loved everything about them. But the time travel, man, the time travel just killed me. Ugh.

#21 – A Question of Attraction – David Nichols
Recommended by: MJ

Sadly, this was the first swing and a miss for me. I found myself skimming through, just trying to get through to the end. That’s never a good sign. I could see why MJ loved it, and reading it reminded me of her, which is always lovely as we never get to see each other anymore and I always miss her. The book just didn’t resonate with me. I tried.

#53 – Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
Recommended by: LA

Yes, I do realize I just jumped quite a bit, but I had to read this one for book club this month. I liked it, but didn’t love it. Everything you need it know about it could be found on the back cover. It read like a screenplay, not a novel and in fact, is already in development as a movie (with Daeneryrs from Game of Thrones and Jamie from Outlander as the leads). It has all the makings of a movie – the plucky, funky, sheltered young girl and the asshole, damaged, worldly multimillionaire slightly older man. The fact that he is a quadriplegic is a huge part of the story, as is the debate about his right to die, but it still felt like well trod ground. Just once, I’d like one of these characters, the Christian Greys and Will Traynors of the world to be slightly overweight, or have a receding hairline, or to be barely middle class. Once again, though, I will recommend it as a book club choice. I realize I do this a lot, but there are some books that there isn’t much to say beyond whether you liked it or not. You can read it and enjoy it silently, without sharing. It can still be a great book, but it doesn’t allow for much discussion. This book will bring forth a LOT of discussion. 

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