The book was okay at best. There were subtle moments of really well-done writing, particularly when describing the characters. The story is an interesting one, and Maynard does a good job of helping the reader to understand the way all the characters are, and to build sympathies for them. It was also a relatively short book, so if you’re looking for a quick read, it’s a good one to go for. The book, however, is also slow-paced, so it’s not as action-packed for those that enjoy those kind of books.
My biggest problem with the book was how awkward it got at points. The book involves a lot of talk about puberty, sexual interactions, and the like. It was done almost to a point of untastefulness. For anyone who doesn’t enjoy reading books like that, I’d warn against it. My second biggest problem with the book was the formatting. She didn’t use any form of quotation marks which made many of the parts hard to decipher dialogue from the description.
What I probably enjoyed most about it was some of the snippets of quotes from the book. One of my favorites was, when describing what losing love was Henry says, “You are like one of those ceramic hedgehogs with the plants growing on it that the person who bought it forgot to keep watered. You are like a hamster nobody remembered to feed.” There were many points of poignant, childlike acknowledgement of what his mother was going through, as well as observances about the world that were very well thought out. I enjoyed reading those a lot.
In all, the book was all right. On a lazy, rainy Sunday it’d be a good book to curl up with. But if you’re looking for something to keep your attention, to keep you interested and enthralled, this book doesn’t really do it. The movie depiction of Labor Day comes out tomorrow starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. The Knight Writer will be reviewing the movie and making comparisons between the versions, so be sure to check it out!