Monday, February 16, 2015

Where'd You Go, Bernadette :: book club discussion


Well, what'd you think?!

I feel the need to pause, for a moment before jumping in, and tell you what I'm doing. I'm sitting in the quiet nook in my room, at our antique poppy card table, and with my 3rd cup of coffee while my girls nap. True is with G since it's Saturday (the day that I'm actually writing this).

I finished this book weeks ago! And as far as I know, so did most who read along with Chloe & I! I've made the mistake of waiting weeks to write my discussion post (and it still won't publish for another week+)! I shoulda written it immediately after finishing the book whilst it was still uber fresh in my mind.

In complete honesty, this part feels like homework. The second I finished the book, I was done with it. Ready to move on. So to sit and reflect, while not actually being in a coffee shop with friends, is a challenge for me. Perhaps a group of us should Skype and post a video of the meeting, ha! No, this will be fine. But, I'm committing to writing my discussion post immediately following each book from here on out. While my excitement, passion, and opinion about the book are still fresh in my mind. Okay, so here we go...

I loved reading this book. Loved it. I laughed out loud in the beginning numerous times. I found Bernadette to be hysterical and thought that she might well be my alter ego.

However, then it of course began to turn a bit more serious. While still being funny at times, I began to mourn the loss of her awesomeness in the way of her career. And I suffered over her grief, both for before and after her having Bee.

I loved the relationship between Bernadette and Bee, and I thought the overall family dynamic was good. I liked Elgie and, despite some of his poor decisions, his love for Bernadette and Bee was undeniable.

Once I was about seventy pages from the end, it was torture not to read. But I chose not to until I was able to sit down with enough time to finish the book. Picking away at it, at that point, was simply not an option! So there was a span of about a week where I didn't sit down with the book at all.

When I finally did get the time to finish, I was glad about how the book ended. I don't think I could have handled a Nicholas Sparks ending, not to compare authors on any level whatsoever. The ending left me with lots of questions, but I could be content with that Bernadette was not only alive, but with that her spirit was also on the mend. I however was sad simply for the book being over. I enjoyed the read so much, that even though I was happy with the ending, I was in a funk for not having the book to read anymore; for not having the book to look forward to. The feeling reminded me of one I'd get after my favorite sitcom's weekly episode was over when I was a kid. A feeling like, well now what?

Here's what I thought about the 5 main Characters in 5 words or less:

Bernadette- brilliant, delusional, witty, devoted

Elgie- good man, devoted, temporarily derailed

Bee- compassionate, devoted, promising w/ strong character

Soo-Lin- annoying, in touch with reality

Audrey Griffin- in denial, neurotic, unrealistically changed

My ratings of various aspects of the book, with 10 being the best:

Plot/Story- 10 // super original and stayed interesting without lulls.

Writing style- 10 // it took me a few pages to get into it, but loved it!

Pace- 9 // just right; I could put it down but looked forward to picking it back up.

Length- 10 // perfect, although I feel like I could read about this story forever.

Characters- 8 // this is the only thing that I found a little off. I'm not sure that the development of the characters was realistic. However, the characters definitely kept me engaged in the story. So, they must have been good!

Ending- 9 // I was happy, but it didn't exactly end with closure. There was a lot left unresolved.

Overall- 9 // I would definitely recommend it.

I give Where'd You Go, Bernadette a strong thumbs up...
Did you read along?! What did you think? Leave comments below and be sure to check out Chloe's thoughts over on her blog!! I can't wait to know what you think!

Chloe and I will post this month's book on both blogs tomorrow!!!

X O X O X, JL

6 comments:

  1. Sounds like your opinion of Audrey differed from mine a little. I totally agree that her change was unrealistic but I was so happy that it happened. She was such a big jerk, with no indication of changing until BAM! she did. Unexpected but maybe refreshing, because how often does that happen - in a book or real life!? Soo-Lin ... definitely annoying and part of me felt sorry for her, but part me thought she was opportunistic. What do you think?

    Turns out you gave the book even high marks/ratings than I did! I have such a hard time giving 9s and 10s .... hahahahaha.

    I am so excited for the next book ........

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    1. Haha!! If I'm entertained I give pretty high marks ;)

      I was really happy with Audrey's change. It just seemed toooo out of character. However, it *could happen in real life and it was fantastic for this story!!

      Yeah, Soo-Lin was straight ridiculous and made her own bed. It stinks, the more I think about it, that she put Elgie in that situation. I'm not trying to take his side. But she was a home wrecker on purpose because she was unrealistically hopeful. Sad for her. Dumb for him. I'm betting Bernadette forgives him...but, I'm not sure how the baby fits in. Maybe they'll all be friends. I'm being optimistic for everyone's happiness's sake!!! Haha!!! High marks & optimism...that's how I'm rollin' here!!!

      I too am SOoooo excited for the next book!!!

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  2. I really liked the book! Thought it was hilarious most of the time. I didn't feel like the characters were meant to be realistic...more like caricatures of real people, which is what made it a funny. In that regard, Audrey and Soo Lin cracked me up! A fun read.

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    1. Yes!! And that guy that would say "News Flash" or something like that!! It was all just sort of a circus! I'm glad you read, Maria, and that you liked it!!

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  3. Man, I have been wanting to write a comment to this for some time. That time (I was hoping for like 20 minutes!) isn't coming anytime soon, so I'll take a few minutes and get as much in as I can....

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It was easy, quick, engaging and funny! I am not sure I think the characters were as unrealistic as everyone seems to.... I think they are outliers for sure, but I would like to think they were more dynamic than unrealistic. I don't know that I believe Audrey's transformation would have happened as quickly as it did in the story, I do think the change was true to character, just expedited for the story's sake. I agree with Chloe, that Soo Lin was slightly petty/gossipy, but also very opportunistic. I don't think Elgie even saw her coming. She knew what she wanted and went for it. Too bad Elgie didn't want ANY of the same things!
    Like Jenny, I like to think Bernadette forgave Elgie and they all co-parent the baby....I think the three of them together could actually make a pretty complete team. Bernadette is the creative/fun one, Elgie the dreamer/financial backing one and Soo Lin the caregiver/realistic one.

    I read a quote recently that made me think of not only Bernadette, but also of myself. Which was odd because I didn't much identify with Bernadette although I found her character incredible. The quote said,
    "Possessing a creative mind is like having a border collie for a pet; if you don't give it a job to do, it will find a job to do-and you might not like the job it invents." -Elizabeth Gilbert-
    I think it literally made Bernadette loopy to not have an outlet.

    Okay, my time is up... I could talk about this book for much longer and just might next time I see one of you!

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    1. Well HOORAY for your few minutes, Emily!! Now the discussion feels nice and well rounded and I may be content!

      I LOVE the quote you ended with! Just as I *could relate to Bernadette, that quote really resonates with me!!! I feel like the collie dog is most noticeable when I'm working on dinner/dishes/laundry...my focus is terrible as I anxiously pant around trying to get to my creative tasks!!! Haha!! Thank goodness I have an active creative outlet, or I would undoubtedly be a loop nut, too! {...or more of one than I am ;P}

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