Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Bittersweet Book Review

Summary from Goodreads

Suspenseful and cinematic, Bittersweet exposes the gothic underbelly of an idyllic world of privilege and an outsider's hunger to belong.

On scholarship at a prestigious East Coast collage, ordinary Mabel Dagmar is surprised to befriend her roommate, the beautiful, wild, blue-blooded Genevra Winslow.  Ev invites Mabel to spend the summer at Bittersweet, her cottage on the Vermont estate where her family has been holding court for more than a century; it's the kind of place where children twirl sparklers across the lawn during cocktail hour.  Mabel falls in love with the midnight skinny-dipping, the wet dog smell that lingers near the yachts, and the moneyed laughter that carries across the still lake while fireworks burst overhead.  Before she knows is, she has everything she's ever wanted: friendship, a boyfriend, access to wealth, and most of all, for the first time in her life, the sense that she belongs.

But as Mabel becomes and insider, a terrible discovery leads to shocking violence and reveals what the Winslows may have done to keep their power intact - and what they might do to anyone who threatens them.  Mabel must choose: either expose the ugliness surrounding her and face expulsion from paradise, or keep the family's dark secrets and make Ev's world her own.

My thoughts on the book

Hmmm... I'm not sure where to begin.  I was dreading the day that I would have to write a negative review and here it is.  The thing is, there may be some person somewhere that might enjoy this book, but it just really wasn't my kind of read.

I don't remember the last time I struggled so much just to finish a book.  I personally had a hard time with the characters.  They just didn't seem believable to me at all.  I wanted to be able to like the main character, Mabel Dagmar, but the more I read about her, the less I liked her.  Then there was Genevra Winslow who was the little rich girl.  She was not my favorite character either.  It was confusing that she completely ignored Mabel and then, out of nowhere, invited her to her family's cabin for the summer.  Just so confusing.   And all of the names in the book were very odd for these days, too.  Genevra, Birch, Luvinia, and even Mabel Dagmar...they're just not your typical names.  I mean, I'm usually all for unique names but this many in one book just annoyed and confused me a little.  To be honest, not much made sense to me about this whole storyline.  It was vulgar, confusing, boring, frustrating, and just plain annoying.  Did I mention vulgar?  Because it was vulgar.

I'm trying so hard to be nice because I really hate to put down something that someone worked so hard to write but I really can't think of anything positive to say.  Bittersweet was not at all what I thought it would be when I read about it.  It is not a book that I would recommend to my reading buddies.

*Note:  I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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