To begin with, I made it a point to read the book first before I saw the movie, cause I personally prefer all the very minute details and emotions a book can cover, that a movie never could. It is impossible to cover a 400 page book into a 2 hour movie and not skip details. However, a picture does speak a thousand words and that makes me wonder if the movie does justice to the book.
I know what you’re thinking. It was a brilliant movie, critically acclaimed and surely did the book justice. And I wouldn’t question it if someone came up to me and said the exact same words. But what makes the difference for me is the effort that a writer takes. To use nothing but words, to paint a word picture of the characters, the scenes, the surroundings, the emotions is so much more difficult to do. Especially when it stems from nothing but the writers imagination.
Do that successfully and you’re a bestseller, fail at it or simply getting close to doing that and its a bust. Having said that, here is an opinion on how I find the book to be (bear in mind, that I haven’t seen the movie yet):
Published in 2012, the book takes you to the lead characters Amy and Nick’s college days of how they meet at a party, have an instant connection but cannot initiate a romantic affair for a long time, thanks to some unfortunate circumstances. And like in any story, it’s simply all sunshine and rainbows, with instant spark between the two, when they do end up together, until it all slowly goes downhill.
I am going to refrain from saying anything further, so as to avoid any spoilers (although most people have an idea of it by now) and because I am not sure where to draw the line.
The first half of the book is pretty slow (and at times boring), and I really feel like skipping a chapter or two to get to the good part. The first 200 pages are all about character development, setting up the plot, the relationship amongst the characters and about the events that eventually lead to the crux of the book, making it the thriller that its supposed to be. Honestly, had I not known about the critical acclaim for the book (and al the hype), I would’ve lost all interest, and read it simply to satisfy my OCD.
And believe me, I would’ve missed out on an amazing story (in parts). Manage to get through the first half of the book, and the second half will literally have all your attention. The once boring characters and plot will manage to grip on to you, in a way you’ll be so dissatisfied if you don’t finish it. All it takes is one tiny 10 page chapter for the book to shift gears from slow to overdrive.
And what a lovely way its written!
What I love the most about this book, is the role reversal from the supposed hero who becomes the villain and vice versa. And I have always had a thing for when I find myself rooting for the bad guy (Like Leonardo Dicaprio in “Catch Me If You Can” or “The Wolf Of Wall Street”).
I am living the entire book again as I write this, wanting to share my excitement with you, thanks to the way everything unfolds (although it’s only a small part of the second half of the book). It almost surprised me at how easily the author managed to get me on the edge of my seat, and I often found myself chewing my nails in nervous disbelief as I read one page after another. But I don’t know. For some reason, I am not the happiest guy when it comes to the ending. Call me a cliche, but I would’ve preferred it to end differently. This book doesn’t have an ending, but just an end.
Although an ardent reader, I always have a tough time getting hooked to a book for the first 50 pages or so. There have rarely been books that manage to get my undivided attention from the first page. And although this book takes significantly longer to get my attention, I march on like a gritty soldier and seem to understand the hype later on.
Would I recommend this book?
Yes. It is good writing and definitely better than a lot of books I’ve read.
Will it blow your mind?
Probably not. Especially if you’re a Sydney Sheldon or Agatha Christie fan and know your way around a thriller.
Tell me how you find this review, and please do share your views in the comments below. Thank you.