In lieu of complete reviews, I’ll offer a few words about two books I read over the past year that I didn’t like very much. But according to Amazon reviews, many others liked these a lot.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
After reading The Goldfinch, I had high hopes for this book (which she wrote before Goldfinch). About a week after I finished it, I could not even remember who was who among the five main characters. It’s about a bunch of prep school type private college kids studying Greek with a wacko professor that seemed not to have to abide by any school regulations. Their vapid conversations annoyed me, and I found their motivations not in keeping with their characters. The fact that this elite group of five studied the classics was the most intriguing part of the story.
The Light Between Two Oceans by M. L Stedman
This is a poorly written tear jerker. One might argue that if it brings tears, then it must have some redeeming qualities–and I suppose that’s true–but truly, the writing drove me crazy. It takes place in Australia and centers around a light house keeper that finds a baby washed up in a boat. Not very plausible. Predictable plot. Underdeveloped characters. Oh yeah–and a few tears at the end. Maybe a good beach read–something you can skim.