Writers and Lovers by Lily King – eARC Book Review

Blurb from Goodreads

Blindsided by her mother’s sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan.

Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, mouldy room at the side of a garage, where she works on the novel she’s been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching on to something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey’s fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.

My Review

This book was a struggle for me from the earliest pages.

I just found this book to be too much. And I’m not sure why. The first half of the book was a slog for me to read. I found the plot to be very slow moving and the prose to be stilted. I toyed with the idea of DNFing but I’ve never done that with a NetGalley ARC before and couldn’t quite bring myself to stop as I was hoping I would enjoy the book once more of the plot was revealed.

And admittedly around 1/2 the way through I found I had gotten used to the books rhythms. I began to enjoy the struggles Casey the MC was having with regard to who she loved; was she more suited to Oscar or Silas. That to me was the strongest part of the novel.

But I remained unconvinced by all the other emotional turmoil that Casey went through. The grief at her mother’s death, dealing with illness, debt, work issues… these are issues that resonate with so many but here I didn’t find the emotion for me to empathise with Casey. She was just too detached a character and felt too much of a passenger in her own story for my personal taste.

Perhaps if I was a writer I could have found more in this novel for me to connect with as so much of the story is concerned with Casey’s attempts to write her debut novel. But ultimately this book just wasn’t for me.

I would also like to note that the file provided by NetGalley was corrupted and could not be read on my kindle. I was however able to read the book using the Bluefire Reader app but this app is not my preference for reading as I am unable to alter font size etc. This may have had an impact on my overall enjoyment.

What this book has made me reflect on is whether or not I should start DNFing ARCs if I find them too much of a chore to read. Is it unfair to the author / publisher if I don’t read the whole book? Or is it more unfair to them for me to persist with a book I’m not enjoying? Right now I don’t know the answer that is right for me as a reader but I’m certainly leaving the door open with regards to the possibility that I may choose to DNF an ARC in the future.

*An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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10 thoughts on “Writers and Lovers by Lily King – eARC Book Review

  1. Oh no, sorry to hear this was such a bummer! My interest was piqued until the “two men” came into the picture and I was just like yeah, nah. Haha I still struggle to DNF any book so my answer to this one would be obvious 😂 I absolutely get the guilt! Would an option be to say that you’re not reviewing this book on NG (there’s that option right) and then give your reasons for why (if you decide to DNF it)? Don’t know if that would make a difference for the guilty feeling 🙂 Great honest review, Emer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t like that NetGalley ‘am not giving feedback’ option because as far as I know it counts against your request/review ratio which to me is unfair. If they changed that system to not affect our review ratio by say allowing us X number of books a year that we can return unread then I’d be up for that.

      Like

  2. I know I have dnfed a couple arcs but it was more on subject matter than anything. I usually try to push through though, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

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