Yes I do realize that it is not Wednesday (I usually post book related material on Wednesdays). BUT I wanted to post my review for this book already so I can start on another one this month. So without further ado…..
2 out of 5 Stars
Basic Review (Getting to the Point):
Although I do like the “idea” of the theme of this book (washed up child actress trying to live a normal life and find happiness despite past horrid circumstances and uncaring parents), I felt like the characters needed to be developed in a better way. My main problem was that I didn’t get enough details on certain main characters enough to accurately picture them in my head. It also seemed like some characters were dropped in the middle of the book which seemed a little weird to me. (Like what happened to Randi?)
I did start to like the book more towards the ending where I got some closure with some characters. Thats why I didn’t give this book a flat 1 of 5 stars.
Now I will go into more detail about the pros and cons of this book.
My problem with the characters
Something I always enjoy about reading is being able to visualize the characters and being able to figure out what kind of people they are. Am I going to like them? What are they like? What do they look like?
Even with the main character Fia (or Fiona), I didn’t really feel a connection with her. I don’t even know what this 30 something year old looks like…. I always felt that there was something missing in the beginning that would have really drawn me in to want to relate to Fia. Instead I found myself saying “what?” a lot.
My problem with the relationships of the characters
I was actually disappointed with all of Fia’s relationships….they all seemed really unrealistic and dysfunctional.
From the back of the book summary of the A Thing of Beauty, I had imagined the relationship between Josia and Fia to be different. But Josia isn’t really mentioned as much as I would think. Plus it almost seems to me as if Fia was taking advantage of him. And while having a strict “Don’t bother me ever ” type of rule, in the end somehow they become really good friends. Which makes no sense to me because it wasn’t properly developed. It felt like it was “Don’t come into my kitchen” and then next it was “Please redecorate my whole house and make yourself comfortable” ALSO, HOW OLD IS THE GUY? I still don’t know.
Without revealing too much about the overall plot, I do feel the need to discuss my thoughts on her relationship with her parents. I never knew there was even such a thing as “divorcing” your parents. Like what? Totally weird.
And then there is Jack. Basically a “no booty” booty call. Such a strange relationship…and believe me… it will leave you wondering the whole time about what the point is. The conversations that they had didn’t really feel like it made much sense and didn’t really help move along the story.
Randi, the barista and coffee shop owner, seems like one of the only normal relationships in the book. Although I felt this character was neglected in the middle of the book and is almost thrown in at the end in what seems to be an after thought.
And don’t even get me started on Tony and Big Mike…
Let me just say…. I very rarely DONT like things. I wanted to be honest with this review though. When I read the summary of this book I was very excited because I really liked the plot line. I felt it really didn’t live up to what I thought it would be like. I think if the characters and their relationships had been more developed then this book would be a grand slam.
Now for some good measure I will answer the questions from the Reading Group Guide
1. Although A Thing of Beauty isn’t meant to be read as an allegory, who or what does Josia represent for you?
For me, Josia represents hard work and helping others. His character almost never is sleeping and is always doing something to improve the quality of life in others. He is an all around good guy.
2. What is the difference between running away from your circumstances and reinventing ourselves or our lifestyles? How do we know if our choices denote healthy change or refusal to address the past?
In my opinion, real adults face problems squarely and head on. Running away from problems is impossible. Like the case with Fia, if you wait too long to address the past, it can haunt you for the rest of your life. You will also develop a longing for answers to questions that never had been answered. Do you want to know why somebody did that? ASK THEM! Worry is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but gets you nowhere. Be the change that you want to see in the world. Do something about your lifestyle. Don’t expect all the answers of the world to be handed to you on a silver platter. Remember, nothing GREAT in life is easy. It requires effort.
3. What does Fia’s house mean to her, and to you?
To Fia it means all the things that she cannot let go of. All the clutter in her home is all the resentment she has for her life and her parents. Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. You are only hurting yourself. Fia was really the only one holding herself back.
To me her house reminds me that I need to clean mine.
4. How do you think you would fare living out your life under a microscope, whether it’s of your own choosing or not?
You make your own life. I guess for those that are born in the spotlight it is harder to choose. But let me just say, if you are boring people probably won’t pay too much attention. The reason they get all that attention is because they make drama ( just like Jessica) to get publicity. Any kind of publicity is good publicity right? Me personally? I wouldn’t like it. Sometimes I get my mail in my PJs and I wouldn’t want it in the section “Stars Are Just Like Us” in People magazine.
5.Social Media: Good or bad?
Depends on how you use it.
6. When must we stop blaming our parents?
When you point your finger at someone, remember that three fingers are pointing back at you. Take responsibly for your actions.
7. Have you ever dealt with a narcissist? If so, have you been able to free yourself? Why or why not? If you have, how?
I think to a certain extent, yes I have. Not to the degree of Jessica. But people like that are almost like leeches. The best way to get rid of them is stop letting them feed of of you. If you don’t baby them like how they want you to, they will eventually find someone else to do it.
8. What character did you most relate to and why?
Randi, she seemed the most normal in the book. Although I do like to go thrift shopping….
9. How much of what you believe is taken at other people’s word? What does it take for you to be certain about something? How much or how little? Are you naturally skeptical or accepting? Why?
I feel that if you believe in something you should know why YOU believe it, not why others believe it. I am usually more skeptical. I want to make sure something is true before I accept it as my own.
Okay so that is my review of this book. Have you read this book before? Do you want to read this book? If so leave a comment below giving me your thoughts!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”