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The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel
Rachel Joyce
Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans' Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter
Ellen J. Prager
Mr. Fox - Helen Oyeyemi Let's see if I can sum up my thoughts about this book with some clarity...

The writing is good; I liked the general tone and pace.

I was thinking I'd be reading a novel when I saw this at the library, and I thought it would have fairy-tale aspects. The blurb that got me to check it out was "From a prizewinning young writer, a brilliant and inventive story of love, lies, and inspiration." I didn't read much farther than that, because I like to go into works of fiction knowing as little about the plot. as possible. But this isn't really a novel so much as a bunch of short stories and narrative explorations--in other words, plot is not really important, and is barely even present most of the time.

I gave it three stars but it may very well deserve more. I didn't "like" it as much as I found it intriguing. I wasn't really looking for, or ready for, this type of book at the moment--I've got a bunch of things going on at the moment, from planning fundraisers to running a business to large upcoming group presentation, to schoolwork. I just wanted something to unwind with. I opted for fiction this time around because I wanted something sort of light, or charming, or a good story. Those are not really the strengths of this particular work of fiction. So unfortunately it didn't meet my needs/expectations for picking up a book in the first place and my rating has got to partially reflect that. But it is a very interesting work, and it's well written. I would be willing to give it another go--like maybe during winter break or something, when I actual have the mental energy to devote to appreciating what this book DOES have to offer. I did very much enjoy(?), for instance, the examination of (fictionalized & real) violence against women. I didn't really like the abundance of unhealthy relationships and how happiness is pegged as "boring." Speak for yourself, lady. My happy contentedness & I are having a blast over here and I can't remember the last time I was ever bored--it must've been years and years ago if such a time ever existed for me.

Anyway, if you like experimental fiction, magical realism, some confusing and/or mind-bending-esque stuff, I'd recommend it. I can definitely see some people being pissed at spending time on a book like this, and I can see some just loving it. I wish I'd known that it was more along the lines of intertwined choppy kind of short stories; as it was it sort of annoyed me, but I can see myself really having a much better impression of it if I had read it at a different time of year, or just when I had less stuff to do, more attention to spend.