It was an easy read and it had a happy ending. It dragged a bit in the middle and the end… but that might be just my impatience with predictable books. And this book was predictable. The main conflict was set up early on, hammered away for what felt like an eternity, and then resolved in time for the credits. There was no room for symbolism, subtlety, or nuance.
Conversational, quick, detailed, and very descriptive. Philips spends ample time showing us the strains of early motherhood on her protagonist. Her prose is highly believable and honest and she shifts our focus and emotions seamlessly.
This is not a book about anything even if it tries to get there. Yes, there is an ethical question raised at one point but it is so quickly rendered moot, that no one really has to wrestle with it… or rather, Klara doesn’t wrestle with it, Josie doesn’t wrestle with it, and the parents who do are so ancillary that the reader doesn’t feel compelled to give it much more thought past “/shudder, yikes!” before moving on.
It was a fairly quick read and I totally picked finishing it over going to bed on time. You don’t have to be an artist, familiar with autism, a lover of mysteries, or into British novels to really enjoy this book. Those things might help, but really this is a tightly written tragically funny whodunit told from a unique perspective.
I really liked this trilogy. The 1st book is adrenaline, the 2nd is cerebral and the 3rd is ramifications. All are enjoyable and I really appreciate the nuances that Ness adds in. The stakes ratchet up, the tension increases, the death toll climbs (even though the saddest death is in book1 -I am still upset by it-) and the tone gets darker as the series continues. It is a lot like growing up.
It is a slow burn. It takes quite a bit for things to get going and the only real action happens in the last 20% of the book. Thankfully the mystery has been so fully entrenched early on that there is enough tension to carry us through. The payoff is worth the wait.
It is extremely well written and well plotted… and that means that the pace is perfect. It moves along quickly and you never feel like reading it is a burden. There is something here for most readers: romance, counter-culture, glamour, self-empowerment, tragedy, life lessons, and an ending that is bittersweet but perfect.
We sort of know what we are getting ourselves into… but then the carpet is thoroughly pulled out from under us at chapter 9 and everything changes. This is very very cool if you, like me, hadn’t been spoiled by the back of the book.
I love Red! She has a prosthetic leg and therefore gets to be a strong (in body and mind) character who is differently-abled. She is also Black. And queer! HOORAY!
It is so different and engaging and even though Cha doesn’t go into a lot of depth about her subjects, she does raise interesting subjects that warrant reflection and consideration. This is the sort of book that makes you want to do research and find a nonfiction book about the same subject matter.