A few terrible highlights 1 The main character Dodie is a pathological, neurotic narcissist headcase who oscillates wildly between selfishness, fantasy and inflated sense of self importance And not in an interesting way she s the stereotypical New England snobby white woman you see in every movie or TV show There was nothing compelling or likable about her Shep should ve stayed in South America and far away from this awful woman.
2 THE ADOPTED BABY NAMED TERABITHIA Honestly No one said to the author This is not only cringey and stupid, but the reader will get VERY sick of reading the word Terabithia over and over again I loved the book it references but this was such an awful choice.
3 The horrible main character has pretty much zero reaction to her BFF of several years dying unexpectedly in 3 pages, she s moved on and is scheming to adopt steal the baby bc damn it whines DODIE WANTS A BABY Ugh Just garbage GARBAGE So upsetting bc the writing style wasn t bad but the story was horrifyingly awful.
4 5 stars i received a gifted copy of this book in exchange for an honest review Lighthearted Funny and emotional Quick read.
Such a wonderfully written book Although a few slow parts, I enjoyed the realness of the relationships and hardships that come with family and loving others I recommend especially for all book lovers this book makes me want to start my own library A Heartwarming Debut Novel About A Daydreamer Who Gives Her Town, And Herself, An Amazing Gift A Lending Library In Her Sunroom When The Chatsworth Library Closes Indefinitely, Dodie Fairisle Loses Her Sanctuary How Is A Small Town Art Teacher Supposed To Cope Without The Never Ending Life Advice And Enjoyment That books Give Her Well, When She S As Resourceful And Generous As Dodie, She Turns Her Sunroom Into Her Very Own Little Lending LibraryAt First Just A Hobby, This Lit Lovers Haven Opens Up Her World In Incredible Ways She Knows books Are Powerful, And Soon Enough They Help Her Forge Friendships Between Her Zany Neighbors And Attract An Exciting New RomanceBut When The Chance To Adopt An Orphaned Child Brings Dodie S Secret Dream Of Motherhood Within Reach, Everything Else Suddenly Seems Less Important Finding Herself At A Crossroads, Dodie Must Figure Out What It Means To Live A Full, Happy Life If Only There Were A Book That Could Tell Her What To Do Great then frustratingThere was a very significant portion of this book where I thought I d be rating it as 5 stars, but then it slowly started to unravel Let me start with the good this is definitely one of the better First Reads selections I ve made at least for the first two thirds of the book It starts off light and charming with a fun, small town feel and a perpetually sunny heroine Dodie is an art teacher who establishes a lending library when the community s library undergoes extensive renovations, and she has a crush on the guy who keeps coming in for books It was delightful with such a light chick lit romance vibe.
Then the tone shifted The focus became muchabout Dodie s desire to have a child, and the potential for her to adopt one We see the highs and lows of adoption and the emotional upheaval the process causes From there, the tone stays heavier and the angst increases, so it s sort of like a book in two parts.
I really appreciated what the author was trying to do here We see a transformation in Dodie and it s a look at a serious topic Her relationship is central to the story but definitely not the star and riddled with its own problems I wish that the book had been able to maintainof the lighter tone from the beginning while handling these difficult topics, because I felt like Dodie started to lose herself as the process went on I liked her less and less as the story progressed Then there s a revelation at the end that was just no So I wound up rating this as 3 stars and I m not really happy about it There s so much good stuff in here that I wanted to go higher, but my like of both the main characters had dissolved too much by the end.
5 stars bait switchYou will probably like this book best if you don t go into it expecting a lighthearted romance, which was the impression I had gotten from the description SPOILER ISH The first half does feel fairly light fun, but then it gets darker sad And I m talking unexpected death of a loved one level grim with large doses of angst, a bit of a mental break then breakup emotional abandonment at multiple levels The writing is decent, but even though it ends happily, I just felt too emotionally drained by the end to really appreciate it Clean romance level secular attitudes towards relationships intimacy, but nothing graphic Language moderately light use of d h Religion about a dozen uses of God s Name in vain, including 2 as curses, sadly totally unnecessarily I didn t love it, but I wanted to The first third was really really great, Dodie was one of those go getters, light hearted and generally charming She grew The Lending Library and ate many wonderful baked foods, had a lovely community around her and it all seemed really great.
What was not great was everything after Like her being spineless and getting chewed out by Maddie and Kendra, and taking all the blame unfairly Her stubbornness about not accepting help Not worrying about Shep obviously keeping secrets blah Allowing other people to put down her dreams needs wants What bs She went from being a strong, lovely character with charming determination to an absolutely and unnecessarily meek damsel in distress Once the problems had been piled on, the whole book changed The pacing got slow and the ideas and paths got convoluted overwhelmed with what felt like badly written emotional sullenness that didn t feel authentic or was communicated appropriately It came off as naff TBH I started skimming The way she managed by pushing everyone out was poor form and I don t think true to her character The whole Shep line was an awful Prince Charming has never been less charming Overall, I really liked the premise Hated the implementation.
They want there books back
Early into the page count of Aliza Fogelson s The Lending Library, my pick this month from thePrime Reads service in which Prime members get a free copy of one out of eight books recently published bys own publishing wing , we re being told of our plucky hero Dodie Fairisle and her recent past as a hipster edgy artist in Brooklyn while dating a noted fashion designer, and how she grew sick of it and instead accepted a random opportunity to teach art to grade schoolers in a small town in rural Connecticut but then author Aliza Fogelson describes one of Dodie s pieces, an overly sentimental cartoon painting of two smiling mermaid sisters, and I was like, Wow, sheesh, leave it up to a book like this to think of such a painting as hipster edgy Brooklyn work Ah, but a few pages later we learn that Fogelson s been in on the joke the entire time, that Dodie s first hipster hyped gallery show had been trashed by critics as incomprehensibly childish art from a supposed adult, and that her designer boyfriend and all his Brooklyn toadies loved her for the same reason they adored such mentally ill outsider artists as Wesley Willis, Henry Darger or Howard Finster That lets you know quickly that you re in for something smarter and wittier than most titles from the dreaded genre of chick lit or, oops, I guess I m supposed to say bookclub fiction now, but it all amounts to the same thing cozy tales by and for middle class women in suburbs or small towns, socially conservative and often religious no matter what their political affiliation This genre gets a bad rap, and rightly so, because a way higher percentage of its titles than in other genres are complete shit, so it s always worth celebrating when another good one comes along Fogelson s her full length fiction debut carries a dark and sharp edge to it, a reflection of her background in academic lit at Princeton but it still has all the things that bookclub fiction ugh fans are looking for Babies Weddings Austen Desserts DESSERT RECIPES ringing these people s Pavlovian bells just as surely as a set of brass goggles does to steampunk nerds There s absolutely nothing wrong with being a slavishly breathless fan of a set of overly specific tropes within a certain genre, but you should at least be striving to read just the very best that genre offers For the ladies at the Starbucks bookclub at the mall, this will scratch that itch nicely.
I choose this book for myFirst Reads kindle edition book for the month of June I am excited to pick this book up It is schedule to be release on July 1 2020 I will post a honest review as soon as I finish reading this book.