Original language: English
Genre: Adult, Contemporary
Published: November 6th by Michael Joseph
Pages: 531 (Paperback)
Source: received from Penguin Random House UK via Blogg dein Buch
Stella Sweeney is thinking about karma when she gets in a car crash. The man whose Range Rover she's hit asks for her number, but it's only for the insurance. Anyway, she already has a family, her husband Ryan, a bathroom "artist", and her two children Jeffrey and Betsy. But her whole life changes when she gets the Guillain-Barré-syndrome and all she can is blink. She writes the book "One Blink at a Time" and suddenly she is famous.
I didn't like this book. Maybe because I didn't think it would be so huge - I've never read a contemporary novel with more than 500 pages before this one. And basically it would have been a short one, if it were up to me. It’s switching between present and past, the good thing being that font also changes, so it’s really easy to notice. There were so many scenes that were really foreseeable and not exactly necessary for the story line - I mean, how often do you have to write about Stella's problems with her belly??? I get it, it bothers her, but if it bothers you so much, dear Stella, then f*cking do something about it! Complaining probably won't help! And then there are pages (remember, pages, not paragraphs) about her eating Jaffacakes (What on earth are Jaffacakes?! Never heard of them, but fortunately Google is my best friend. And these Jaffacakes look kind of disgusting) and being guilty afterwards. This is annoying me so much I might repeat what I just wrote. But this also makes Stella seem more like real person, the language did the rest: It was like you were talking to a real person. And in this case, unfortunately, it is everything but positive. I was expecting serious language, but the language was so simple! Betsy was one of those 'totally'-girls. (I made this up, but it's what it was like for me to read the things Betsy said): 'So they were totally breaking up and she says she’s happy about it but she was totally sad!’
But it wasn’t only the writing style that didn’t meet my expectations: The back of the book said one thing I’d agree with.
- “engaging characters”– I really don’t think so. Mannix Taylor is the stereotypical ‘hot’, narcissistic guy, who was suddenly extremely nice and not half as arrogant as he seemed. She’s the kind of woman who was non-stop complaining about herself, her life and her belly and always tried to do everything right. None of these characters are actually new or unknown, still I couldn’t imagine them. No faces in front of my inner eye, if you know what I mean.
- “Fabulous plotting”– Well, as I said above, it was foreseeable and boring. That’s not what I would call fabulous…
- “poignant” – Surprisingly this was not poignant at all (at least not to me). Sure, they talked about emotions a lot and everything was full of emotions, but there was a lack of that certain something. I didn’t smile or laugh or cry once while reading this. And, admittedly, I’m a really sentimental person while reading.
There were also other things that were contradictory, for example that everyone talked about Stella being proud. I never noticed that.
Then there is the last weird thing:(spoiler) Her best friend and her ex-husband are together suddenly and no one acts like it’s a big deal or something. I still think that it’s really strange that there so many changes in the last year and everyone accepted it without a word.