Monday, July 14, 2014

You're Not Much Use to Anyone- Book Reivew

I'm going to be totally honest - this is going to be a tough review to write. The reason? I didn't really like this book. ... At all. What's awful is as I researched the author a bit, it appears this book is semi-autobiographical. Basically, in a way I'm saying I don't like the author's life. Which is partly why I'm personally hesitant to write a novel/book of the same nature. If someone doesn't like it, they basically say they don't like your life. That's terrifying and awful. But, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, right? Right. So... here we go.

You're Not Much Use To Anyone
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Publisher: New Harvest
Author: David Shapiro

Basic Summary Without Spoilers:

21 year old David just graduated from NYU and is trying to navigate his new adult life. One day, after noticing how passionate he is about a popular music review site, suggests he write his own blog which reviews the websites reviews. He decides to do it and opens up a Tumblr and writes his blog posts from his Blackberry. David's blog then becomes very popular very fast and he finds himself in the blog world and semi-famous on the streets of New York.

My Thoughts:

I was really excited to read this debut novel. As a 20-something who is also trying to find her way in the world, and as a blogger (who isn't famous or popular by any means), I thought this book would be fun and relateable. The premise and idea are great. I have zero complaints about that.

What made the book difficult for me to enjoy though, was the writing style. Absolutely everything was just the basic facts. "I did this. Then we talked about this. Then I felt happy." (Or insert one word to describe some sort of emotion.) The entire book was the author telling us things which happened instead of showing us what happened. I'm all for being concise and not having overly flowery writing. (Because that just gets ridiculous after awhile.) However, as an author you need to paint the picture for the reader. If you don't, it's just a bunch of facts and events which happened to people on a page. 

I also didn't have any attachment to any of the characters at all. If I'm attached to the characters, I can usually excuse a writing style I'm not a fan of. In this case, I didn't care about the characters. As I read, I found I didn't care if his blog was popular, or if his girlfriend(s) broke up with him, or where his career led to. His friends and girlfriends seemed shallow. At times I did feel like the author was going a bit more in depth and I saw glimmers of great characters, but then it always fell short. I'm sure in "real life" the main character (who apparently is the author) and his friends, girlfriends, and family, are great and funny and intelligent. However, he did not portray this well in the novel itself. They all were cold, un-empathetic, and boring. There were a few moments when they would crack a joke here and there, but I think we have difference senses of humor. The main character also was pretty awful to the women in his life, which made me pretty upset.

Many scenes didn't seem to have a purpose either. There was one scene where the main character, David, heard someone get shot outside of his office. He and his co-worker debated about helping, then decided not to. Then the scene ended and there was no further reference to it. This happened a few times. I know in "real life" not all of the scenes in our lives add up to something for a greater plot. However, when you're writing a story, you need it to make sense and flow together. 

Overall, I was very disappointed in this novel. Between the writing style, the lack of character development, and pointless scenes, I couldn't find myself enjoying it. Although, the premise was very promising and I love the idea of it. I think if the author had gone more in depth it could have had great possibilities. I gave it 2 stars on Goodreads.

I received this book as a free eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Linking up with Life of Meg for Mingle Monday.

1 comment:

  1. OK so the title totally drew me in, but the book looks boring. I think I am just living it so I don't want to read it hahaha!


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