11.11.11

Book Club Friday: The Gap Year for Grown Ups


I'm back, I'm back, I'm back for BOOK CLUB FRIDAY!!!





It's Remembrance Day here, which is a holiday (yay) so The Hubby's upstairs still sleeping. Before getting into the book review, I'd just like to take a moment to thank veterans for their courage and extreme sacrifice so I can live the life I do.


Last year, I wrote a post about my Papa. If you'd like to read it, click here.


All right, moving on.


This week, I'm reviewing this....


*removes from jacket pocket*



Between the title and cover, I was pretty excited to read this book as it reminded me of Shirley Valentine. However, if I'd taken the time to flip to the back, I wouldn't have picked it up. I'll explain that later. 


So, this baby's about a middle-aged woman named Sarah Lewis who kind of freaks out when her twin children Claire and Tom go off to university. The freak-out results in Sarah deciding to move from England to the south of France. The catch? She leaves her husband David behind. He's not so stoked on the idea but Sarah doesn't care. She needs the break to find herself and she's just going to do it. Luckily, she has a pal Nathalie, who lives in France, and so she ends up packing a bag and heading out. 


I think the best way to describe this book would be to divide it into three sections. 


Section one is kinda boring, as we're shown just how mundane Sarah's life is. We meet a huge cast of characters - in-laws, friends, co-workers - and it's all pretty standard day-to-day stuff. Not terribly interesting, but it sets the stage for why Sarah left. 


Section two is the move to France. The first section meandered but I knew the good stuff was coming so I pushed through. We're shown the little country town Sarah's set up shop in, but somehow it just wasn't engaging. Things start to go badly for her husband David and her two kids, though, so those bits were mildly interesting.


Section three is where things really got going. And I mean, really got going. Thank god. Without spoiling things for you, let's just say that everything falls apart.


Everything.


Like, for virtually every character. It's a disaster. A disaster you just can't look away from (and thems the type of disasters I want to read about, haha)


Although the book's a standard 300 or-so pages, it felt like it took forever to finish. If I weren't on a plane with nothing else to do, I don't think I would have kept reading as the first 60% was very ho-hum. 


However, that's not really my beef with this book. My MAJOR beef with The Gap Year for Grown Ups is that I was duped. Duped into picking up a book that was actually written by two people. Oh yes. Despite the author's name being "Annie Sanders," it was written by Annie Ashworth and Meg Sanders.  I really didn't appreciate the trickery.


Now, the reason I DO NOT like books by multiple authors is because they don't flow well. I'm a flow-fanatic and hate when things stop me in my tracks and take me out of the story. That happened A LOT in this book.


Why?


Because each chapter included FAR too many POVs. It's written in third-person, which is fine, but there are way too many cooks in the kitchen. It was really hard for me to really get into because I'd get two or three paragraphs from Sarah's POV, then there'd bee a teeny space and - BAM - suddenly I was in David's head. A couple of paragraphs later - KAPOW - another switch and I'm reading from Claire's POV. 


Not. Good.


The most distracting part was when the authors had an entire chapter going back and forth between Sarah's POV and David's, while they were each at a dinner party but in different countries. Jumping from one scene to the next, it was quite jarring. And I don't like things that are jarring. It read like Ms. Sanders and Ms. Ashworth were each responsible for half of the cast of characters and then they just threw everything together. 


*shakes head*


So, this book was just "okay." The first two sections took some effort to get through but the last one was pretty good. That'd almost even the bad parts out, but the ratio is 2-1, and bumps this book from "good" down to "okay."


It really wasn't like Shirley Valentine


Side Note: if you haven't seen Shirley Valentine, you really should. It's about a middle-aged woman who freaks out and moves to Greece, but it's really funny, heartwarming and awesome. After the first few minutes, you'll be rooting for Shirley like crazy, which is exactly the opposite of how I felt about Sarah. Bummer. 







2 comments:

Heather said...

I hate when books jump around like that! It's such a pain to keep up.

Krystal said...

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