Three stars means I liked this book. I didn’t *really* like it and I didn’t love it. I read it quickly and I looked forward to picking up where I left off. It was a more sophisticated soap opera of sorts, plenty of sordid drama and anguish.
Ng is great at creating a vivid setting and seamlessly toggling from one character to the next. She peppers the beginning of the book with just enough unknowns that you feel you have to keep reading to get to the bottom of it all. I cared about the characters and wanted to know more about their stories.
This is the second book I’ve read of Celeste Ng’s and although I think I may have been too hard in my review of Everything I Never Told You, I still feel that there is something lacking in her storytelling; like it’s almost great, but not quite. There are times when she relies on clichés and convenient solutions. Other times she offers a bit too much unnecessary description. This is also the second time I’ve closed one of her books feeling like the ending was pretty “eh”.
I love reading about family dynamics and relationships and there was a lot of that here, but I wanted Ng to just ramp up the storytelling a bit more and bring it to a more compelling place.
So, will it be one of my favorites I read this year? I highly doubt it. Was it a fun, quick read to jump into on my commute? Absolutely.