“Although it’s good to try new things and to keep an open mind, it’s also extremely important to stay true to who you really are.”
I know, I’m very very late to this party. I know I’m terrible. So I picked this up as part of the Popsugar Reading Challenge, and now I can cross ‘A Debut Novel’ from the list! I’ll be honest I had a lot of reservations during the first half of this book, it took me a while to really get into it. It was slow, but not necessarily in a bad way, just in that not much happens. I started to enjoy it a lot more when I stopped expecting something really exciting to happen and just relaxed into it a little.
I didn’t particularly like the character of Eleanor to begin with, but what I did love was her character development. Things started to pick up in the second half when she became friends with Raymond and her journey of discovering new clothes and the enjoyment of a new haircut. I found it really interesting to see how she acted in these sort of environments, as the book goes on she starts to question herself less and just goes with things because she enjoys them, which I think is an important lesson to anyone. You should try and think less about things and concentrate more on how they make you feel.
Surprisingly, I really liked the ending. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely could have read more, but I didn’t need to and I think sometimes that’s a hard balance to hit. I’d say I was content with the ending, I don’t feel like I was short-changed or that things were rushed or even that I absolutely had to have more. It was a very easy, natural ending that made me smile much in the way I would if I had sat with an old friend for a few hours and caught up over coffee.
Would I re-read it? Probably not, purely because I enjoyed finding out about Eleanor with a clean slate, and I don’t think that I would enjoy it so much if I knew everything about her from the get-go. However, I would 100% encourage people who haven’t read it yet to definitely pick it up. I know completely understand the hype, even if it did take me a while to get there. I don’t think it was a long or hard read, and to be honest I would say that the pacing was pretty perfect despite there not being lots and lots of drama. It was really nice to read something that felt purely character driven and made a change from the things I normally read that are filled with adventure and drama. The more I read, the more that I wanted to understand Eleanor, I wanted to know why she felt and acted the way she did. It was exactly the perfect blend of everything it was trying to be and for that, I really do applaud it.