Tuesday, August 21, 2012
The Adults Review
It's been a while since I've been really into a book. Recently I downloaded a bunch of samples from amazon. I do this when I'm not sure what to read next, so I peruse a few beginnings and pick the one that grabbed me the most.
The Adults started off really well. Emily, the fourteen year old protagonist, observes her parents and their friends at her father's 50th birthday party in Connecticut. She is a funny and wry and a fairly typical young teenager but her world shifts quickly as she observes her father kissing their neighbor and later, the neighbor's husband hangs himself outside their house and Emily is the only witness. Her parents' marriage is falling apart, her father is moving to Prague and the widowed neighbor is suddenly pregnant.
In the midst of all this, Emily embarks on a sexual relationship with her 24 year old teacher that lasts from the time she is fifteen until she goes off to college. That part of the book was really interesting. Unfortunately, the story picked up again after she is out of school and living in Prague with her father, his girlfriend and her half-sister. She reconnects with her old English teacher, although now they are on more equal footing. He has his own secrets. Unfortunately, the young and witty tone that I enjoyed in the first half of the book disappeared in the second part. Emily is still lost in the world but it's not as cute as it was when she was fourteen. It's actually kind of annoying. After the the book dragged a bit for me.
It comes full circle with another "adult" party at the end, which I enjoyed, but it took too long to get there and the conclusion seemed inevitable, which was a bit boring. I can't highly recommend this book because it dragged a little too much in the second half but it was intriguing in the beginning. I'm sure other people will like it more than I did.
NY Times Review
Buy it at amazon or Barnes & Noble