25 June 2012

Don't Read Book Reviews

I shouldn’t read reviews before I read the book.  I wouldn't say they are necessarily wrong, but they color my opinion going into it.  Then I have pre-conceived ideas about the book, author or theme before I’ve even given the book a chance.  Talk about judging a book by its cover.

I did this with the Hunger Games Trilogy.  I listened to friends opinions on Collins' writing ability, I read amazon.com reviews focusing on the thematic content and how horrifying it is when you really look at it.  I decided to buy (after weeks of going back and forth) the trilogy on my kindle and read it anyway.  I’m glad I did.  They weren’t my favorite books, and the violent themes did stick with me longer than I wanted them to (including in my dreams), and she did have some pretty poorly written lines (her Yoda line being the worst).  But I was engrossed.  They were a compelling read and it was a really good thing I decided to wait till after all my Montessori work was handed in before I started them.  

I didn’t learn my lesson with the Hunger Games.  I did it again with my most recent book.  My sister’s best friend started a book club.  We will read 3 books over the summer months, get together over food and chat about them.  It’s a diverse group age-wise, newlyweds, new moms, and grandmothers (including my mom).  The first book is MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche; a book about a women’s search for a new BFF after transplanting to Chicago.  I read the reviews.  There are lots of people who like the book, but I gravitate towards the 1 or 2 star reviews, I guess I want to hear the negative.  Most people didn’t like the author because she seemed flighty or juvenile for seeking out a BFF (and for calling it a ‘BFF’, but what else do you call it?  Bestie is just as middle-school.)  The reviewers point out that she has best friends just not living around the corner.  

Is she selfish for wanting a bestie around the corner?  My best friend lives in Morocco.  I wish she could be around the corner, like she used to be when we grew up.  But I also wish she could be in Boston again, cause it’s a lot easier to visit than Morocco (so suck it up Bertsche). Morocco also just banned skype (#@*holes) making it even more difficult to have a chat.  And I do have good (fabulous really) friends around the corner.

Back to the book.  I’m half way through (book club tomorrow night, eek).  It’s a good read.  I’m glad I did end up buying it.  It’s making me think a lot about friendships and creating new ones.  I’m an introvert.  Its hard to talk to new people.  I’ve improved dramatically over the years, slowly perfecting the question asking and offering information about myself without being asked.  I’m getting there.  This book challenged me.  I need to follow up with people I’ve met and said ‘let’s get together sometime’.  I need to be a better friend to those I already have.  

The one thing I don’t like about this book: reading about friendship makes me miss Sus more than ever...

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