Thursday, 23 January 2014

Reading The Interestings

I had never heard of The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer until I read about A Beautiful Mess' online "book club". (Secret confession; I've always wanted to be in a book club. Unfortunately, it's not seen as a very cool hobby so I'm just going to have to wait until my friends join my level of non-cool.) I downloaded a sample of the book from Amazon kindle and was immediately hooked. The Interestings is a story about talent and about a group of close friends at an art camp who grow up into talented and not-so-talented adults. Jules is funny and quick-witted but she's not a natural actress. What happens when you eventually have to face reality but your friends get to stay creative and live out their dreams? 

The Interestings follow the friends as they leave their teenage years and halfway through life. The events do not follow in chronological order and so it is early when we find out who continued creating and who became a downward spiral of destruction. Maybe I'm just a sucker for loving to know the ending and then being drip-fed details about the events that led them there. What a teaser this book is. It is also witty (much like the main character Jules) as well as well-written with clever analogies which makes it a dream to read. I read other reviews which claimed that the ironic narration distanced the characters from the reader but I disagree. The fact that the characters were under constant criticism from the narrative just made them more lovable to me. (And how refreshing to read about people with flaws!) Although I have numerous times mentioned how funny it is, there are also dark thoughts and events that make you squirm uncomfortably as you try not to pick sides. It makes you think. I just loved this book and if you'd like to read a clever book about ordinary and not-so-ordinary lives then you should read it too.

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