(by Junot Diaz)
I was disappointed by this book. It wasn’t what I expected by a long shot, despite the overflow of good press it received. I didn’t find it inspiring or impressive like so many did. I stumbled upon it as a result of my reader/writer friends on tumblr who raved about it’s poignant moments and repeatedly quoted it in their blogs.
They were right, of course, about one thing. This book does have some rather poignant moments. At times, I even found myself in tears relating to some of the experiences described by the author. But aside from a few quotes and a few moments of emotion on my end, I found this book incredibly mediocre. It fell short of all the small expectations I’d developed as a result of the praise it had gotten.
It felt like a summary.
Now, I’m an avid supporter of the show, don’t tell aspect of writing. Often times when I offer editing services to writers and friends, one of the most important critiques I will give them when I read their story is to take places where they have dragged on with these incredibly dull talking moments in their writing and turn it into something with dialogue, something with action. It is what I would have told this author, if given the chance.
The main character in this ultimately became a person I just hated. I couldn’t get on board with his personality, I found nothing likable about him. I didn’t respect this character, this man. I found him somewhat pathetic, in fact, and considered the possibility that he may have truly deserved the pain he put on himself.
I found it a bit fascinating how this character had everything wrong with his life, but didn’t manage to pull any sympathy from me for it. It was an interesting read, but I don’t think it was a great book. I expected different things, a more likable character for one. I was disappointed with what I found.
This is How You Lose Her didn’t do what it should have done. For me, the summary aspect and a character I hated, but couldn’t love hating, ruined it.
*Would not read again.
*Not for me, but for others.