On My Nightstand is going to be a regular feature this year, as I read my way through 40 books in 12 months (yusssss!!!! Best challenge everrrrrrr!!!). These are not typical reviews, just some short (and sometimes longer) responses to the books that end up on my nightstand. So far - 18/40 books read.
You know what, this book had a few things going against it (IMHO), but it worked. I enjoyed it. The opening sequence was excruciating to read, and there were scenes further into the novel that were equally painful - as in quickly-count-to-sixty-while-doing-circular-breathing-and-thinking-of-rainbows-and-unicorns painful. But overall, the story gripped me, and the characters were sympathetic and quite sweet. Forman's writing style is fluid and easy to read, and the tension building as we climbed towards the closing moment, was very effective. There were a couple of things that bugged me a bit, for instance the edgy-cool parents. Way hipster. Too cool for me I guess (but from another angle, these were refreshingly different parental characters than your usual YA literary stock, so there's that). I also find it a little jarring jumping between the past and present on an extremely frequent basis, which by necessity this novel does. I got over it, but there was a bit of inward sighing.
Argh! I really, really loved this book. Really, really, really. A chapter or so in, I already knew this had made it to my 2014 reading list top 3. Pat was so frustrating and sweet and well-meaning and messed up. Wow, what a beautiful character. Quick writes with such brutal honesty, tenderness and rawness. There was an intricacy to his weaving of the story, keeping facts hidden until they would leave the most impact, while keeping nothing of Pat's thoughts and feelings from the reader, or anyone really. Pat = open book. Oh, Pat. I read the book because I loved the movie, and while I now accept that (as per usual) the book is much better, I still think the film holds up.
Warning: there is a ton of swearing in both novels, so if that's not your bag - maybe give these a miss.