Monday, October 31, 2016

Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Happy Halloween!  I hope all of you are having a ghoulish day. Some wonderful new books come out tomorrow, Tuesday, November 1.  They include The Christmas Club by Barbara Hinske; The Good, the Bad, and the Guacamole by Rebecca Adler; Twice Told Tail by Ali Brandon; Deck the Hallways by Kate Carlisle;  Better Late Than Never by Jenn McKinlay; We Wish You A Murderous Christmas by Vicki Delaney; A Killer Kebab by Susannah Hardy; and Hooking for Trouble by Betty Hechtman. I cannot wait to read these new novels.  I will be reviewing The Christmas Club tomorrow.

Faithful by Alice Hoffman is a very unusual novel (let me be brutally honest and say it is just plain odd).  Shelby Richmond is seventeen years old when she is in a tragic accident that puts her best friend (of a sort) in a coma.  Shelby feels survivors guilt and does everything she can to ruin her life.  She quits going to high school, tries to kill herself, and then shaves off all her hair.  She spends the next two years lounging in her parent’s basement watching television and getting high (let’s not forget the smoking and junk food).  The one person she talks to is Ben Mink, her pot dealer.  When Shelby is nineteen, Ben is heading to New York for college.  He is going to become a pharmacist and asks Shelby to come with him.  Shelby then wanders around New York with her bald head (black clothes too).  She eventually gets a job at a pet store.  Ben is good for Shelby, but she refuses to see it.  Shelby is still bent on self-destruction.  After the accident, Shelby started receiving postcards.  Whoever is sending the postcards is trying to help her move on.  To encourage her on the right path.  Will Shelby ever be able to move on with her life?  Can she forgive herself for surviving an accident? 

Faithful, as I said, was a very peculiar book.  It is written like Shelby is talking.  The reader is subjected to Shelby’s long, depressing narrative.  Some parts of the book are compelling, but there are many pages that should have been tossed on the editing room floor (you get the metaphor).  I felt that Faithful was not a finished book.  It is also a very dark, negative novel.  If you are a person prone to sadness or depression, please stay clear of this novel (otherwise, you will want to off yourself by page 75).  I give Faithful 2 out of 5 stars (like I said there are some good parts).  Faithful will be released tomorrow.  Please remember that this is just how I felt about the book.  Every reader has a different perspective or take on a novel.

I am currently reading Deck the Hallways by Kate Carlisle.  I am lucky enough to be belong to her review crew and received my copy on Saturday (the print is so tiny in the book).  I am off to enjoy dinner and relax.  I hope all of you have a frightful evening (you know I mean delightful).  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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