Christopher is an eight year old boy whose father took his own life due to mental illness. He lives with his mom who has bad luck with men following her husband’s death. Her newest boyfriend is an abusive alcoholic named Jerry. One night, Jerry takes things too far and while he’s passed out on the couch, Christopher’s mother packs up their belongings to escape.
After finding a small town with only one way in and out the two settle in and try to begin a normal life. Until Christopher disappears for six days in the woods and returns “changed”.
The premise for this book had my curiosity piqued and I had to read what happened. The cover to this book is beautiful-dark, suspenseful and yet still holding some of the childhood innocence most of us can relate to.
Chbosky’s writing style was a little choppy for me which isn’t a huge deal. He got the picture to come through and I was invested right away. What nagged at me the most was the repetitiveness. Some of it was OK, but other parts were starting to wear at my patience.
An example of this is the inner dialogue from Christopher:
“My father had …
My father had … voices in his head.
My mother knows …
My mother knows… I am smarter than I should be”
That’s just a small snippet, and it continues. Since I don’t want to reveal spoilers in this review, I won’t add much more but you get the idea.
Several times I thought this book was about to end and I wasn’t more than half way through. Unfortunately, it could’ve ended much sooner than it did. I was a little concerned when I looked at the page count and wondered where this story was going to go. As a reader, my fear was it may be a padded story-and I’m in the minority when I say I still felt the same way when I got 30 pages to the end.
Normally, I don’t like to be the person to say, “I didn’t like it.” In this case, it hurt a little because I was turning the pages furiously to get further into the story but was met with a continuous repetition of details and/or phrases. In some cases, those repetitions lead you full circle but in this case I didn’t feel it was well executed. I admit, when I got to the last 30 pages of the 705, I was frustrated and skimmed.
I finished the book a bit disappointed but overall loved the concept. Most of the time I was on the edge of my seat in the same way you watch a horror move and keep trying to lean to one side and see behind the door. I pushed through little annoyances because I do edit and critique stories for a living but this book was for my enjoyment. It was hard to turn off the “work” part of my brain in some areas.
Don’t let my little quirks dissuade you if you’re into a good plot with interesting characters.
However, if you’re a complicated mind who picks apart why characters are present, why they do things, you should still read the book. Just go in with a prepared state of mind.
I give this book
out of five.
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? Comment below and let me know!