I don't really even know where to begin with this review. 4 days later and I am still feeling conflicted. There is no denying that Nova Ren Suma can write. It's impressive. Her voice and word weaving is something that needs to be read to be understood. But...there are those books that everybody loves but you. And you understand why everybody loves them, but you are not one of those people because it didn't connect with you the way it did with others. Well, that was 17 & Gone for me.
I get all the positive reviews, I do, and I wish that I had felt the same way, but for me this book just felt very anticlimactic. And didn't have much of a plot, to be honest. It was definitely more of a character-driven novel, but the thing is, the characters aren't all that developed or memorable because there are so many of them. So many girls. So for me, all this book had going for it was the atmosphere and writing. And that part of it was VERY good. I just kept putting this book down and walking away from it because there was nothing that made me want to keep reading. I don't expect a book to be completely plot-centric but with my lack of attention span these days, I need something to keep me flipping those pages.
I guess what I am saying is that this was just not the right book for me RIGHT NOW. Maybe months down the road and my brain is functioning better and not so distracted and I would have loved this.
The other thing that didn't really work for me was the ending. See, because based on the way the book was written, I was expecting this big reveal. I was expecting a shocker, and...it wasn't. I remember writing in my status updates that I had no idea what was going on and I hated feeling in the dark, and yeah, that was the truth. Funny thing though is that that was only because I didn't think it could possibly be that obvious. There was no twist because the answers are kind of exactly what you think they are. That was disappointing.
I know it sounds like I hated this, but I didn't. I just didn't like how I couldn't connect to the characters. But the writing was beautiful, and for someone who appreciates a writer who can weave a wonderful story in a voice and style all her own, this book really hit me in all the right places. It was poetic in its prose. It was meant to be savored. I think I really like the way Nova Ren Suma writes, and it's worth it to try more of her work, but I'm not sure she's the right author for me. That's not me saying she isn't talented though, because whoa, is she ever.