Okay, so it’s been awhile since my first NYT best seller review.
I have a valid reason for that, I promise. The Casual Vacancy, JK Rowling’s newest novel, is in high demand.
I was on a waiting list at our local library for a good two months.
When it finally came and I had it in my hands, I was very eager to get started.
Let me remind you that both of these reviews are based solely off the first 50 pages. I can’t speak for the rest of the book.
A Review for Readers:
Video Cliffs Notes:
- This story takes place in the small town of Pagford, England and follows a cast of characters, all reacting to the death of Barry Fairbrother, and the empty seat he leaves behind on the town’s council.
- This is a very adult book. If you don’t like your fiction riddled with swear words or explicit sexual content, then you’ll want to avoid this one.
- The main character is a dead guy. The story, at least the first 50 pages, chronicles various townsfolk and their reaction to his sudden death.
- Definitely has the same feel as movies like Love Actually and New Years Eve, where there are a lot of characters that slowly start to connect. By page 50, I could start to see some of the connections, which was fun.
- Didn’t really know what direction the story was headed until page 50.
A Review for Writers:
Video Cliffs Notes:
- The story opens in what James Scott Bell refers to as media res – the middle of action, with characters in motion.
- JK Rowling’s prose are brilliant. Her descriptions are vivid and fresh.
- Even though there are a lot of characters, she differentiates them by giving each one unique and memorable attributes.
- Having a main character in which readers can identify with and root for is important.
- Story structure, while not a rigid thing, keeps a story from feeling aimless.
This was a tough one. Originally, I thought I’d give it a thumbs sideways because I intended to finish it. But then I started a different book (hi Heather Sunseri!) and The Casual Vacancy was due at the library. I returned it unfinished and have no urge to put myself back on the waiting list.
Next book in the NYT best selling experiment?
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
Number one for 11 weeks in a row. And sheesh, I haven’t read a Nicholas Sparks book in, well…..ever.
Time to see what all the fuss is about.
Let’s Talk: Are you a Nicolas Sparks fan?
A new reader friend asked me five very fun questions on her blog. If you’ve ever wondered whether I cried while writing my debut novel, visit Back Porch Reflections!