Confession: I finished the book.
But this is not a finished book review. This is a halfway through book chat, and a chat needs you. Here are my thoughts to start us off:
Story: I adore the setting of this novel – I want to be there. But I’ll admit that this book is slow to grab me. I enjoyed the read, but found it easy to put it down and walk away – never quite got sucked in. I tend to love stories that jump around between characters and time periods, but for some reason, this device in this story is keeping me from diving all the way in. That said, the time period, the setting, the charmingly screwed up characters – swoon. I want to vacation in this book immediately.
Characters: I love Pasquale. Love him. Love the way his name sounds when I say it out loud (who knows if I’m saying it correctly 🙂 ), love his humanity, love that he’s written with some pretty massive baggage and flaws but still reads as noble. I dig him. I find myself routing for Claire, just because I want to grab coffee and a bagel with her, and I adore the visual in my mind of Michael Deane, both past and present – Hollywood in all its young ambition and terrifying resistance to age.
Here are my questions for you, and I’ll chime in in the comments:
What is the moment you first connected with the story? Why?
Which thread is most compelling to you? Which character’s voice are you hoping to find when you turn the page?
Which thread could you do without? I find that I don’t care about Burton much, for example, but I dig Shane and his Donner story thread.
What do you love? What’s getting on your nerves?
Which character do you connect with personally? Why?
On a scale of 1-5, how many stars would you give this book so far? I’m a solid 3 all the way through, but you don’t have to agree with me one little bit.
Leave your thoughts in the comments below – if they don’t show up, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll go save you from the spam filter.