Recent Reads: The Interestings | The Homey Owl: Recent Reads: The Interestings

Friday, January 31, 2014

Recent Reads: The Interestings

One of my goals for this year is to read at least one book a month. I often get so busy I often forget how much I love reading, and I'm hoping that this goal will have a snowball effect and cause me to read more and more as the year progresses. This month's read was The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. The book wasn't even on my radar until the A Beautiful Mess ladies started a book club and this was their choice for the month. I thought it sounded great because having the opportunity to participate in a virtual book club would give me the push to actually get the reading done.

It did. But I have mixed feelings about the fact that the book crossed my radar.

At the beginning of the book I was drawn in by Wolitzer's interesting use of words and the honesty of her characters - they were each incredibly believable. I found it interesting how she would give you parts of information early on, but not reveal the complete story until later in the book. The way she jumped between the older and younger versions of the characters, particularly towards the beginning of the book, was also a different approach than most books I've read.

I understood Jules' struggle, and I definitely sympathized with bits of it. The artistic pursuits and passions of the characters definitely struck a cord with me - I was a musical theater major in college and have always been involved in all kinds of "artsy" things. I think my main struggle was that is felt like the book just...ended. I turned to the last page and felt highly unsatisfied. There were small peaks and valleys corresponding with the character's lives, but the overall plot of the story did not seem to move. They just seemed to glide - which is much more true to life, I suppose.

Personally, the book just left me feeling empty and disappointed at the end. I wished that the end had retained some of the wit of the beginning and that it had wrapped up in a more defined way. I saw that the characters had begun to change like you knew they were supposed to, but I never got to see it to fruition and I had trouble using my imagination to see it ever getting there.

I know a lot of people who have enjoyed it, though. Personally, it's not my cup of tea.

Next Up

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (Confession, I'm already most of the way through this one! It was supposed to be my something happy to accompany my second selection...oops. I may actually have finished it by the time this post goes live - I'm typing this on Monday evening.)

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Second confession, I'm dreading reading this one. Emotionally charged books are normally not something I run towards. However, a ABM book club is reading this one next and I know that I would find it beautiful - my sister adores it - so I think I'm going to use ABM as motivation to bite the bullet. I'll just mix a good dose of happier books in there with it.)

Have you read The Interestings? What was your take on it?

What's next on your "to read" stack?



  1. I haven't read it yet but had been planning on it. I've heard lots of mixed reviews, actually!

    1. Yeah. I read a lot of mixed reviews about it, too. I loved the beginning but hated the middle and the end. I was bummed because it started off with such promise. I would love to know what you think of it if you read it!

  2. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton.

    Louisa @ My Family & Abruzzo

  3. That seems close to how I felt about the book I just read. I dislike when the ending doesn't feel complete or rushed. I really want to read the Fault in our Stars but I will have a tissue box handy.

  4. John Green is my absolute favorite author. TFiOS is incredibly emotional, but I feel like you'll enjoy the characters as well as the story because although emotional. it is very endearing. Please let me know what you think about it!

  5. Oh man! I'm so bummed to hear you didn't like The Interestings. It's the book of the month for the virtual/local book club I'm a part of and I'm super excited to get into it. Even if it's no good, at least I gave it a shot. I believe The Fault in Our Stars is next in our line up and I'm looking forward to that one! Thanks for sharing your review. I love reading about how other's perceive books.

    1. I read a lot of mixed reviews before I jumped in, so hopefully you'll end up on the side that enjoys it. I'd love to hear what you think after you've read it! Maybe it will inspire you more than it did me.


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