Top critical review
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Don't read if you're looking for a good book.
on 4 May 2014
Honestly couldn't make it through this book, something I normally force myself to do. I struggle to understand how or where it apparently won an award for best dystopian novel of the year.
Here are a few reasons why I didn't enjoy this book, and why I think you may not either.
1. Anytime the group have to discuss anything (ie the author has to give the reader info) the people talk as if their reading aloud a written manifesto. There's no change when she writes conversation!
2. Ridiculous over-use of phrases like "my heart broke"
3. So many redundant statements. "Sgt what'shisface was talking about the place we're going, so i stopped and listened so that I would know everything I needed to know about the place I was going that Sgt what'shisface is going to tell us about."
4. The writer is clearly one of those optimistic people who live in a dream world where clichés like "remember, the solution to your problem... Is just an attitude change away", said totally un-ironically, actually work in changing someone's attitude. She genuinely wrote someone as saying "We just need to take this one step at a time. Each step is one step closer to our destination." No break, no pause, no irony, and they all agreed! Where's the realism?
5. There is no subtlety!!! None whatsoever! She says exactly everything that's happening because, as readers, we're stupid and can't figure out the writer's subtle prose.
6. Did I mention the sexism? Apparently they went into that bunker in the 50s! (But it's subtle, so the writer probably thinks she's gotten away with it.) like "I'm not like most girls, I don't like staying behind while the men go ahead." Because, you see, most girls like staying behind the men, because we're weak and inferior.
7. The protagonist has 'just realised' how much her BFF who got hot a year ago means to her... 6 times. Each time like it's just struck her. She's noticed that their existence in each other's lives must be fate even more times. She's stopped even putting these fate soliloquies in separate chapters.
8. *SPOILER* (as if you're going to read it if you trust what I tell you) Our main man Finn's mom, OMG, she screamed in the middle of the night! Everyone though it was a zombie, but no, wait, there's nothing there. Finn goes into the tent, and moments later comes out to announce that his mom's in a coma. But it's ok. The doctor's say she can still hear him like she's awake. But wait, there's more: when our main girl, Abi, goes after him, he snaps at her that he doesn't know why she's in a coma. But stop panicking, Abi knew he snapped because he was upset and he apologised and explained it was because he was upset and she said "I know."
9. Furthermore, there are no arguments. Everyone is so annoyingly reasonable!!! Apart from that totally crazy outburst from Finn, back there, which was just outrageous of him. Votes are all fair and uncontested and each person puts their point forward beforehand like they've taken time to write a speech.
10. Finn's mom woke up after an uneventful night. Totally healed. Probably because they said a prayer. And, lucky, just in time for the "meet the mom as the girlfriend" moment. Totally unrealistic and boooorrrrrriiiinng.
I got to 42%, can't say I know anything about the rest of the book, but I can say I never plan on changing that.