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Just reactions to books I read. I don't really summarize the book's content, because how hard is it to click on the cover and read the description?


So I just write my response.

Not as good as I expected (and hoped)

The Living - Matt de la Pena

I'd read a couple of good reviews for this title, most of which focused on the diversity and realness of the characters. And kudos to the author for that, because yes, there was a diverse cast, class differences were noticed and discussed, and the overall concept/mystery behind the disease was an interesting (and believable) one.


That said, I really struggled through this book. It was one of those books that felt like a prime example of "telling, not showing" ... and because there is so much action and mystery going along with it, the telling really weighed down the narrative so that it all felt emotionally disconnected from the story. Things happened and were told to us through the main character (Shy) so although we got into his head, we never got into the rest of him. It was like being told a story after it happened rather than experiencing it from his viewpoint as it did happen.


Sometimes that strategy works (World War Z, for example, or Sarah Lotz's Three). But in this case, it just made for a rough reading experience and an ultimately bland ride, because the narrative distance sucked out all of the tension. 


So, stuff happened. It should have been heart-wrenching and exciting as it happened, but it just didn't read that way.