Saturday, July 11, 2015

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

2 Stars
“They will dissect this last evening for years to come. What had they missed that they should have seen? What small gesture, forgotten, might have changed everything? They will pick it down to the bones, wondering how this had all gone so wrong, and they will never be sure.”

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Hrrrrrrrrm. Good news is, I don’t think it’s necessarily only me this time.

The problem for me with Everything I Never Told You was with the characters. I don’t mind unsympathetic characters and I most certainly don’t mind dark subject matter (you could say it’s kind of my forté). What I do mind is feeling nothing – nada – ZILCH for the people I’m reading about.

The book begins with a dead teenager. While the family is unaware of said death, it doesn’t take them long to get filled in. Now, if you’re thinking this is going to be some kind of awesome mystery/thriller – you’ve got the wrong book. Basically this is a family study of the history of Marilyn and James Lee, their marriage, and their children. Bonus for me – my senile brain actually remembered that plot point even though I was on hold for my library copy for umpteen weeks. Unfortunately as I stated above, I still couldn’t get on board with the story . . . .

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While the majority of the book simply didn’t work for me, I did enjoy the subtle pop culture references that served as a reminder that the book was set in the 1970s and the fact that it was the white member of the bi-racial family rather than the Asian who was dead set on overachievement. Seriously – that racial stereotype has been done to death and needs to just burn in a fiery pit in hell.

I understand many loved this book, so definitely don’t remove it from your TBR based on my review. The good news is, even if you end up finding it “meh” like I did it’s short and reads extremely fast. As for anyone who is even thinking about asking me how I couldn’t loooooove this one or who might be drafting a comment that informs me I read this wrong? Don’t . . . .

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