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Interesting comments! When you say "I wish there had been more--something else," that is why I haven't read it yet. I suspect (and your post confirms) that it is part of the trend towards cool but minimal novels and I'm a bit tired of these. I might read it eventually, but I'm glad to hear from someone who bucks the critical raving.


I haven’t read it, but your review makes me want to... to get a bit more insight into the world of Irish Milennials. And when I went to Goodreads to add the title to TBR list, there’s a giveaway going on until March 29 for a free copy — what good timing! Maybe The Tournament of Books is inspiring me to read some contemporary fiction, too.


All the writing about Ordinary People and the praise were reason for me to read it too. At least that was the plan. I was about fifty pages into it when I asked myself 'why am I reading this?' And then I stopped. I cannot give an informed opinion of the book, it just didn't invite me to go on reading and these days that is reason enough for me to let a book go.

Not related but you might like it: there is a card on its way:)


Hi Danielle! I enjoyed the review. Sally Rooney has been on my TBR list for some time -- the buzz about her writing is just overwhelming; I almost feel like I can't know anything about contemporary fiction if I haven't read her! Yet -- I've been avoiding her books and I've wondered about my motivation for doing so. I think your review articulated my reasons -- I've been afraid that it was just too trendy, too angst ridden, too Milenial, too much self-absorbed navel gazing. Not to worry that you've turned me off -- I'm still going to read it (or, perhaps, her earlier novel), as I have to judge for myself what all the buzz is, or isn't, about!


I'd be very interested to hear your take on it if you do read it. It started really good, but then it just felt like the story was circling and not going anywhere. I like crisp prose, but I guess I still wanted something more to happen or some enlightenment to come sooner than it did?


Fingers crossed for you that you get a copy! I think it is going to be very popular once it is released here! If you do read it, let me know what you think. I need to take a look and see how the Tournament of Books is progressing!


Hey Cath! I am so glad you left your comment and I feel better now that I was not the only one to struggle with the storytelling. I know what you mean--I had gotten so far into the book that I wanted to finish it, but I could also feel myself getting frustrated with the story and the characters. My sympathy soured about then. And yay, so happy to know a card is coming. I need a little happiness in the mail! :)


I don't read as much contemporary fiction as I want to (or think I should be reading). I know it is a popular book and she is really getting all kinds of press these days. She is a very good writer and I see her talent, but I had a hard time connecting with the characters once that first section past. It just sagged in the middle and became more work than a novel like this should (not the kind of work that I enjoy in a book anyway!). I never like the idea of turning a reader off a book--I think she is well worth reading--this just didn't quite work for me, but others have raved about her, so I suspect I am in the minority here!

Kathy Johnson

I am always woefully ignorant about contemporary fiction, and I appreciate your thoughtful review. I'm finding I'm less patient with protagonists who irritate me, or who consistently make poor choices (or what I feel are poor choices!) and with "angsty navel gazing." That's probably not fair since I've been known to do a considerable amount of angsty navel gazing myself.


I know what you mean. I am the same way--I am totally angsty about things, but that doesn't mean I necessarily want to read about people who are to an annoying degree! I did like the book--loved how it started but all those poor choices after a while drove me a little bonkers. I guess that is the way people are though. I'm sure I will read more of her books at some point, but for now am happy to move on to other sorts of stories.

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