Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson


How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from library; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: To Carley Wells, words are the enemy. Her tutor’s innumerable SAT flashcards. Her personal trainer’s “fifty-seven pounds overweight” assessment. And the endless reading assignments from her English teacher, Mr. Nagel. When Nagel reports to her parents that she has answered “What is your favorite book” with “Never met one I liked,” they decide to fix what he calls her “intellectual impoverishment.” They will commission a book to be written just for her—one she’ll have to love—that will impress her teacher and the whole town of Fox Glen with their family’s devotion to the arts. They will be patrons— the Medicis of Long Island. They will buy their daughter The Love Of Reading.

Impossible though it is for Carley to imagine loving books, she is in love with a young bibliophile who cares about them more than anything. Anything, that is, but a good bottle of scotch. Hunter Cay, Carley’s best friend and Fox Glen’s resident golden boy, is becoming a stranger to her lately as he drowns himself in F. Scott Fitzgerald, booze, and Vicodin.

When the Wellses move writer Bree McEnroy—author of a failed meta-novel about Odysseus’ failed journey home through the Internet—into their mansion to write Carley’s book, Carley’s sole interest in the project is to distract Hunter from drinking and give them something to share. But as Hunter’s behavior becomes erratic and dangerous, she finds herself increasingly drawn into the fictional world Bree has created, and begins to understand for the first time the power of stories—those we read, those we want to believe in, and most of all, those we tell ourselves about ourselves. Stories powerful enough to destroy a person. Or save her.


Review:  Honestly, if you read the above official summary, you've pretty much read a review of the novel. I won't go on and on by adding too many more details, but I will share a bit about how I personally felt - of course- because isn't that what the love of reading is all about?

I've met people that don't like to read. I'm sure we all have. It's probably a big reason many of us started a blog; so that we could share our thoughts about the books we read and loved, or maybe even hated. But can you really buy a love of reading? Sure, the basic idea makes sense. Someone hates all the books they are forced to read, so why not take a published author and have them write a story that the reader wants to hear? Of course, there is a slightly odd stipulation. The theme of Carley's Sweet Sixteen is King Arthur, so her parents want the book to somehow revolve around that as they are meant to be the greatest party favors ever (those would be kind of awesome!).

I've been curious about this book for awhile now. It was always popping out at me at the library while I worked, so finally, I checked it out and dove into the pages. I have to admit that I wasn't sure for awhile there...this could have ended up as a DNF. The main reason? The book is pretty literary, and it's something I didn't realize based on the summary. Sometimes literary books are difficult for me to get into, but I'm glad I persevered, because I did find myself interested in the story and the characters more and more as I continued.

This book is about more than just Carley, and the "love of her life" Hunter. It's also about their friends and their parents, who are all trying to find their way in the world. Growing up doesn't necessarily mean growing able, after all. They all seem to be floundering in various ways. However, Carley does find herself becoming more self-assured though, and I loved that. It's easy to empathize with Carley, who seems to always be cutting herself down because nobody else is raising her up...except for Hunter, whose vices soon start to sink him into a perpetual depression.

Anyway, I would definitely suggest this book to some, but it's difficult to say who exactly would enjoy it. Surely anyone who likes the power of a story, but again, it's a book you might have to stick with. Hopefully, like me, it will prove a satisfying read.

21 comments:

The_Book_Queen said...

I actually read this one a few years back and really liked it. It was different from what I pick up (romance), but while it wasn't perfect, and you are right, it's more literary than anything, I still liked it. :) Great review.

Enjoy,
TBQ

Brandi Kosiner said...

Hmm, never heard of this one, but glad to hear it was something a little different

Tracy Terry said...

Loving the cover, it sounds like this was one worth persevering with.

Kindlemom said...

I don't think this is one that I would pick up and read and like you, if I did I too would probably have a hard time finishing it but I am so glad that you held in there and finished it and overall, liked what it had to say.

Liviania said...

I've had this one on my TBR forever.

Aylee said...

I'm loving that cover! And it's good to hear that you grew to become satisfied with this book and you were able to empathize with the MC. I'm really not sure whether I would dig this one or not! I guess it's hard to say until I give it a try for myself.

Andrea Thompson said...

Hmm...the tone of the synopsis suggests a younger reader, but it seems like the writing felt pretty mature. Interesting concept, though! Thanks for the review!

Melliane said...

Ah yes the idea of the book is interesting but the writing is maybe too much for me mainly because of the topic. But you're right it's why I started a blog!

Hilda K said...

I actually did read the summary haha. x) This book sounds very interesting! The lovely cover totally hooks me, but I'm worried to pick this because you says it can be a DNF, Lauren. The idea is amazing though - having a book written just for you - sooo lucky! <3

Fabulous review! <3 :)

Alexia561 said...

While I love the sound of the synopsis, I have a problem with stories that are too literary. I can sympathize with Carley though, as I tended to hate the books we were forced to read in school!

Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such...

Krysten Quiles said...

Hmm, I may pass on this one.

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I have never heard of this one, interesting premise though. I will have to look it up.

Christy @ Love of Books said...

This sounds interesting. That's why I try really hard to stick with a book, because the push could be so worth it.

The Bookish Manicurist said...

This is the first I've heard of this book, and it sounds quite interesting. I definitely know people who dislike reading or just don't "get it" ;)

Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

Candace said...

I wouldn't have guessed this was literary at all! I like the concept of the story but going by your review I'm not sure if I could stick with it.

Zoe N. said...

Oh wow! I would have never picked this up without you mentioning it, but your review has really intrigued me! I think the synopsis is definitely a breath of fresh air. :) Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

Alise said...

You've definitely got me interested, I wonder if I would like it! When the entire book is told in the blurb it makes me so mad though :P

Kate Midnight Book Girl said...

I might have to give this one a try! I'm glad you said it was a more literary work of fiction, because while I enjoy some literary novels, sometimes it's hard for me to get into them too. But I love the ideas behind this book, so it's worth at least trying!

Cleo Bannister said...

I haven't heard of this book but it does appeal to me as I love a good story.

http://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com

Lauren D. said...

I think I would like this and hopefully the fact that it's more literary wouldn't keep me from finishing it. Lovely review!

Marlene Detierro said...

I loved this book! The characters are clever teenagers with too much money - sounds like a cliche setup - but I cared enough about them to laugh and cry. The literary parodies were hilarious. I was very sorry when the book ended. I look forward to more from this author, she is very talented.

Marlene
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