Tuesday, March 20, 2018

{Review} Laura & Emma by Kate Greathead

Page Count: 280
Published on: March 13, 2018
Published by: Simon Schuster
Genre(s): Fiction, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Chick Lit
Source: Paperback ARC - provided by publisher
Age Rating: YA-Adult
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon
Book Depository: {click here}

My Rating: 2.5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

A tender, witty debut novel about a single mother raising her daughter among the upper crust of New York City society in the late twentieth century from a nine-time Moth StorySLAM champion.

Laura hails from the Upper East Side of Manhattan, born into old money, drifting aimlessly into her early thirties. One weekend in 1981 she meets Jefferson. The two sleep together. He vanishes. And Laura realizes she’s pregnant.

Enter: Emma.

Despite her progressive values, Laura raises Emma by herself in the same blue-blood world of private schools and summer homes she grew up in, buoyed by a host of indelible characters, including her eccentric mother, who informs her society friends and Emma herself that she was fathered by a Swedish sperm donor; her brother, whose childhood stutter reappears in the presence of their forbidding father; an exceptionally kind male pediatrician; and her overbearing best friend, whose life has followed the Park Avenue script in every way except for childbearing. Meanwhile, the apple falls far from the tree with Emma, who begins to question her environment in a way her mother never could.

Told in vignettes that mine the profound from the mundane, with meditations on everything from sex and death to insomnia and the catharsis of crying on the subway, a textured portrait emerges of a woman struggling to understand herself, her daughter, and the changing landscape of New York City in the eighties and nineties.


Hey, guys!

This book was sent to me by Simon & Schuster for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions, and feelings are my own. 

      I read this book a couple weeks ago in the midst of midterms madness and my crazy school schedule. This book follows a single mother as she raises her daughter among the upper tier New York elite throughout the 1980s and early to mid-1990s. This book was pitched to me as something similar to the show Gilmore Girls. Of course, I was intrigued. I love stories that center on family and parental relationships. However, as you can see from my low rating, I wasn't too impressed with how this book turned out. 

      Overall, this book was fairly entertaining. I really enjoyed the vignette format that the story was told in, but I really didn't enjoy the overall story as much as I would have hoped. I think that the story and the overall premise was fairly entertaining and if I had had the time to read this book when I wasn't swamped, I would have read the book in a day or even in one sitting. The vignette format made it a very quick read and I really liked the format overall. The characters, however, were not that great. 

      Though the premise of these characters stories were really intriguing I feel like all of the characters lack substance. I didn't connect to any of the characters, I had a hard time empathizing with them, and I just feel like they were blah characters. I wanted to like them, I kept reading because I was hoping to like them...but I just don't. They were boring and hard to love. The relationships in this book were just so forced and I never felt like Laura had a genuine relationship with anyone she encountered...even with her daughter. She tried, but I never felt like she really tried. 

     Not only do I feel like the characters lack substance, I feel like there was nothing resolved in this book. I usually like a good family-drama novel, but this one just was so unsatifying. The endig just lacked everything, there were no satisfactory character or relationship arks, the conflicts that had been building between the family members were never resolved, and I ended up just not liking Emma or Laura. I'm all for an open, artsy ending, but this book was just not my cup of tea. I did not like it. 

      I've probably ranted enough. I don't think that this book is something that I'll read again. It's not my type of book (although I wish it was). I think the main reason that I still read YA is because I've never really related to adult characters. As a 20-year-old who grew up with fantastical fantasy stories and character-driven YA books, I find it harder to connect to more adult protagonists. Laura was just not my girl. If you love adult novels with family angst and drama then you might like this. 

Happy reading, guys!

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