Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Too Much Pride, Too Much Prejudice

GenreAdult Contemporary, Re-Telling
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 336
Publication Date: August 25th, 2015
Source: ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: Standalone
Goodreads Description

Kim and Harry are total opposites who happen to have the same favorite people in the world: Kim’s older sister, Eva, and her young son, Otis. Kim has never seen what her free-spirited big sister sees in a stuck-up banker like Harry and has spent her childhood trying to keep him out (must he always drive the most ostentatious cars and insist on charming everyone he meets?), while Harry’s favorite occupation is provoking Kim.

Both Harry and Kim are too stuck in their prejudices to care about what’s really going on beneath the surface of each other’s lives. They’ll never understand each other—until the worst of all tragedy strikes. Faced with the possibilities of losing the person they both love most, long-buried secrets come to a head in ways that will change both Harry and Kim forever.

As in her “hilarious, poignant, and profound” (Daily Mail) novel For Once in My Life, Marianne Kavanagh tackles the bonds of family, friendship, and love through sophisticated storytelling. Don’t Get Me Wrong is a witty and heartwarming book that will charm readers everywhere.
When I saw this book on NetGalley I was super excited to see it was a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. The wonderful people at Atria sent me a review copy but unfortunately the book just didn't work for me.

The Writing
The pacing of this book just felt off and all over the place to me. It's divided up into years starting with 2015 and then highlighting events of certain years from 2006 to present day. This didn't work for me. There are jarring POV switches between Kim and Harry. There are also out of nowhere small vignette type paragraphs from Kim's friend Izzie that made no sense to the overall plot. There felt like there was zero flow not only between years but within the years as well. In fact, the whole thing felt like loosely strung together anecdotes from Kim and Harry's lives. It didn't ebb. It didn't flow. It was like one big run on sentence that I just didn't like. I felt disconnected from the story and characters and found myself skimming once I was about halfway through. We also jump multiple years at one point with a few gracious sentences given to us as what's been going on for the past 3 years. It was extremely odd and didn't help me feel connected to these characters whatsoever.

The Characters
I know this was based on Pride and Prejudice so I knew loosely what to expect however I didn't expect to dislike the main heroine quite so much. I'm not trying to be mean but to put it bluntly...Kim was a bitch. A huge bitch. And not a redeeming or fun one. She was out of control mean to Harry all the time. And while we get the sense, if you know the background story of P&P, that he has liked her all along I have no idea why. I didn't get a sense of what draws him to her at all and we still don't get an explanation as the end except the elusive, why does anyone know why we fall in love with certain people. Excuse me, but I don't live in a manic pixie dream world and you shouldn't either Mr thirty something grown man. There were zero positive qualities he could have gleaned from his interactions with Kim and she was over the top mean to him. Not snarky. Not sassy. Not cute. MEAN. It made me uncomfortable as it did ALL the people around them in all the group situations they were in when she would yell at him in front of multiple people. Rude.

Harry was okay. His one fault in my eyes was loving Kim. He was a good person. Kind and thoughtful about others. He was an amazing friend to Eva and had so many amazing qualities about him that he never saw in himself. But he loved Kim and took her abuse for nothing for years and I just didn't get it.

The Communication
Oh, here's another fault of Harry's I forgot. He's a grown man that can't tell a girl how he feels. Yes, I understand the homage to P&P but it's believable for men not to not only not tell women their feelings but to not even talk with women unless sanctioned by chaperones and the like. In 2015? Life is not so sheltered. I get the fear of rejection but this went on almost a decade. Man up, bro. I'm over this compete lack of communication. It's not cute. It's not endearing. Now shits just getting weird. I can empathize with trying to make it a parallel to P&P but this just didn't work at all. It didn't make sense for the overall plot and to add insult to injury a huge tragedy happens that gets brushed over, isn't developed, and then is just...over. It was too much emotion with so little foundation to the tragic situation. Over it.

Denied at the Door
If you like Pride and Prejudice....stay away from this book.

1 comment:

  1. Oh boo! It's sad that this novel didn't end up working for you, particularly because it sounded so promising based on the synopsis. I'm going to stay far, far away from it, based on what you've said here, BUT I will definitely admit to thinking that cover is lovely with all those colors ;)


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