Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Find Me by Laura van den Berg
I told you I could read faster when Spring Break wasn't happening and the big kids weren't at home! It kind of makes me nervous for summer vacation that is coming up soon. Will I finish a book this summer? Would I be a mean mom if I required a book review from them every week? Things to ponder...
So you are probably wondering why I gave a book I read in about 8 hours only a 4 out of 5 star review. In truth, it was probably about 3.5 stars. Let me explain:
As stated in my previous review, I love a good "end of the world as we know it" book (try not to get the R.E.M. song stuck in your head for the day). This book is one of those types of books.
Joy is a 19 year old who is currently living in a hospital with about 75 other patients. A virus has swept across the country causing people to forget. They forget so fast that they become like infants until their brain is just mush and they die. Joy is immune. In a world where everyone else is forgetting Joy takes this time to think back and remember her short 19 year old life. Through flashbacks of her memory we learn that her mother abandoned her as an infant, she grew up in foster care, and prior to hospital admittance she lived a boring life addicted to cough syrup.
The first half of the book (Book 1 as labeled in the book) was very, very good. I really enjoyed learning about the virus and how it effected the country. Even though the entire half takes place in one building the characters surrounding her are so well explained and interesting it pulls you in. I also loved when Joy flashed backed in her memories and we learn bit by bit what her life has been like. There are a couple plot twists that totally kept me reading fast to find out what happens.
Then the second half hits (Book 2 as labeled in the book). It was like the author went to the local bar, took a handful of shots, smoked some weed, did a hit of acid and then asked every other drunk bar patron to help her write the end of the book. Anybody could add whatever they wanted, even if it was crazy, out of this world, didn't really make sense, or add any value to the story. I honestly am not sure what I read in the second half of the book. I won't give away any spoilers.
I get that Joy was on some "what is life about" journey, but it really was a radical read. I found myself confused and it was very hard to tell whether she was dreaming all of it or if it really was happening in her life. It was hard to know what Joy was truly feeling. Hard to understand her motivation for why she was doing what she was doing. I spent way to much time thinking "why is this happening" and "did I miss something". It just didn't fit with the first half of the story.
The ending isn't one of those "satisfied" endings either. Very open ended. Not how I like books to end that aren't part of a series. Especially after half the book is dedicated on figuring out "who" Joy is. Give me some closure!
So, all in all, it was a good read. I wanted to love it. In some ways I did love it. In other ways I feel like I read two different books by two different authors and didn't get the closure to either story that I was hoping for or even expecting. You can buy the book here . It really is a quick read and for the most part enjoyable. Happy Reading!