Saturday, November 26, 2016

Book Reviews: 'Leaving Time' by Jodi Picoult and 'Say What You Will' by Cammie McGovern

1. Leaving Time, by Jodi Picoult
I honestly expected to like this as much as the other Jodi Picoult novels I've read. But this was just terrible. It's been about 4 years since I've read Picoult. I wasn't over the moon for her books, but I enjoyed their emotional powerful-ness enough to read more than one. So, I picked up Leaving Time last weekend after getting it as a gift about 2 years ago (when it came out) expecting the same kind of reading experience. But what I found was something very different. Leaving Time's characters feel very generic and commonplace, which is not something I expect from Picoult. Her characters aren't insanely unique, but they're definitely not generic. The characters became less and less believable as I read, and I was getting really bored with the story. So, I decided to give the book a chance until a certain page number and if I wasn't feeling it anymore, I would set it aside. Well, I did set it aside, but not before finding out a major plot twist that completely changes everything. Not only does it change everything, but it's completely ridiculous. One of those twists where you look up from your book, make a face and then close it, because it makes the book a complete disaster and waste of time. Leaving Time? Waste of Time. 1/5 stars.

2. Say What You Will, by Cammie McGovern
This book started off strong, but slowly and then quickly went downhill. I knew right away it wouldn't be a 5-star book, because none of the characters, even with their disorders or quirks, seemed particularly memorable to me. I was also intrigued by the exploration of the male protagonist, Matthew, struggling with OCD, but a lot of the things Amy (the female protagonist who has cerebral palsy) tried to get him to do were really not tasks that you should give someone struggling with OCD. This is when the book started going quickly downhill for me. When you really have that disorder, it's not something that can just be overcome. It takes time, treatment and, depending on the case, finding balance with medication. Not just getting yourself out of your comfort zone, like this book tries to suggest as creative ways to deal with OCD. It was kind of insulting after awhile, honestly. I also just don't find this to be a realistic portrayal of a girl with cerebral palsy. I don't personally know anyone with it, but it felt distinctively unrealistic to me. That grappled with my taking issue with the portrayal of OCD really ruined this book for me, and I really had no motivation to finish it. 2/5 stars.

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