Originally published at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
The Good: After reading the blurb I was really excited because this book seemed to be the answer to a question I've been asking lately... where are all the books about 20-somethings that just graduated. I seem to only find either YA characters or older characters in books these days. So needless to say I was excited to see a 22 year old college graduate featured as the main character. Leigh's MC, Esther is so familiar she could be one of my friends. She is suffering from post-college anxiety and dealing with what so many of my friends are dealing with right now. Not only is she depressed about moving back in with her parents, but she has no job, no future plans and she is embarrassed about all of this. What I liked about this novel was the internal dialogue going on in Esther's head. She encounters some pretty heavy things and I think watching Esther muddle her way through it is much like watching ourselves do the same thing. The relationship she makes with the Browns is intriguing to me. I did like the way Leigh is forcing her readers to wonder what a "family" would look like after the death of a child.
The Bad: I can appreciate what Leigh was trying to accomplish with the novel but I just don't think it achieved it quite successfully. There was so much more she could have done with Esther's character. I want to sympathize with Esther but most of the time I don't. She is the type of character that I want to shake and yell at saying, "get the hell over it." I felt I was more annoyed with Esther than anything and I'm not sure that is the way Leigh intended her readers to take Esther. There wasn't a lot of action and hardly any "plot" per say. I really wanted her to go more in depth with Amy, Nate and May. They were by far the most interesting part of the story. In fact...I felt like this was more Amy's story than it was Esther's. Perhaps that's what it should have been.
Overall it was a nice, quick read but probably not a book that I will rave about weeks later. It does bring up an interesting idea about families that suffer the loss of a child and life afterwards. I give this book an C+