Book Blurb: (From Goodreads) On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.
My Opinion: I won this book as part of Goodreads’ First Reads program. Thank you to Random House Canada for sending me my first EVER ARC of a book.
I entered the contest for this book because I thought the idea sounded interesting. And while I don’t normally enjoy books from such a young perspective, I thought I would give it a try.
Karen Thompson Walker has some truly wonderful moments with her prose. Unfortunately I am not able to quote the book as of yet, but trust me when I say that she has a gift for metaphors and using them to paint a lovely picture.
That said, Walker also has moments of glaring weakness in her prose. Most notably is the switch between using contractions and not. It read very haltingly and did not flow.
The other note on Walker’s prose is that while the writing is, at times, lovely, it never really felt like it was coming from an eleven-year-old girl. Even written in hindsight, I don’t know ANY eleven-year-old who would have noticed the things that Julia did or expressed them in that way. I also don’t know an eleven-year-old girl who wouldn’t be more concerned with other things in her life. Julia had her moments as a character, but really seemed to lack depth and growth.
The premise was very interesting, but not executed to its full potential. There wasn’t enough science to make this a science-fiction book, there wasn’t enough chaos and end-of-the-world-syndrome to make it a dystopian book, and there wasn’t enough growth from Julia to make it a really great coming of age story.
The entire book is painted with this sense of foreboding. There is a lot of build up, and then… nothing really happens. OK, so not nothing, but nothing to warrant the kind of build-up that is present.
Overall, I felt like this book is a flower bud, just starting to open. The promise of a truly beautiful story is there, it just needs a little bit more care to make it emerge fully.
My rating: 2.5 stars