Thursday, May 26, 2022

Review: Beautiful World, Where Are You

Sally Rooney
Started reading: April 26th 2022
Finished the book: May 19th 2022
Pages: 356
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Published: September 7th 2021
Source: Ebook
Goodreads score: 3.62
My score:
Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend, Eileen, is getting over a break-up and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood. Alice, Felix, Eileen, and Simon are still young—but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?

My thoughts
Thanks to Priss and Sam for reading this book together with me! I'd seen Sally Rooneys books around, but had not read one yet. I do think I'll be able to love her books more, but I hear all around me that Beautiful World, Where Are You is not her best work ever. I hear great things about Normal People and see a lot of love for Conversations with Friends on Instagram. So I'm definitely up to reading another book by her!

  • Curious: At the start of the book I was really curious as to where the story would lead to. I was ready for some big boom at the end, or a plot that builds up. I kept wondering: Where is this going? What's going to happen next?
  • Writing style: I know a lot of people ar NOT a fan of Sally Rooney not using any quotation marks, but I am a fan! And I'll explain why. First of all its unique. I've not seen many authors doing this, instead for poetry books maybe, but not in a novel. My second reason for loving it, is that when I read I tend to skim the pages I'm reading checking for quotation marks and conversations parts, because I always love that. In some way it distracts me, and that was not the case with this book!
  • Characters: At first I was like: Who talks like this? But when I kept reading the characters felt much more real. I felt like they had deep layers and they had qualities and flaws. At the end of the book the characters felt very real to me.

  • Story: I felt like nothing really happens in this story. I'm 100% sure it was meant to be like that, but at some point I just got bored by it all. Especially the emails that Alice and Eileen write to each other... I couldn't be bothered with it, because I felt no connection with the characters there at all.
  • Characters: While I felt like the characters were a pro, they are also a con for me. I'm the same age as these characters and of course I sometimes think about life, about the world... But the way these two women over-analyze everything and talk about politics and the world... It was very hard for me to relate with. I didn't mind if a character would die at the end or if they would all end up very unhappy, and that's not a good thing in my opinion.
I'm really curious what other people feel about this book, have you read it?! Let me know! I do know that my reading buddies did not like this book. I see a lot of others on Goodreads who weren't a fan, just like me. I do feel the writing style is very unique and I'd definitely read more books that are written like that! The story and the characters weren't always a hit for me.

Other opinions on this book
"The book moved me to tears more than once. Rooney's best novel."
- James Marriott, The Times

"Rooney's strongest writing thus far. There is a touching honesty and truthfulness in these pages, along with a quiet brilliance."
- Diana Evans, Financial Times

Memorable quotes from this book
"I also feel certain it's better to be deeply loved (which you are) than widely liked (which you probably also are! but I wont labour the point).

"You have a soothing effect on me. You know, the things I would normally worry about, they don't really seem that worrying when I talk to you."

Thanks for reading!
I'd love to talk books; please let me know what you think about this book review.

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~ Esther