Newest Review: ... sister who has quite a racy background, smokes, drinks, acts a fool. Her sister, Jill, doesn't really like Cliff and Tristan is over the ... more
A let down
The Half Life of Stars - Louise Wener
Member Name: hlb2009
The Half Life of Stars - Louise Wener
Advantages: it was easy enough to read
Disadvantages: it was very dull
I seem to be having a chain of poor books at the moment. I am really disappointed in my choices right now. This book is yet another poor novel which is extremely disappointing and, quite frankly, a waste of my time. I love reading, I love relaxing in the evening and treating myself to some escapism by reading a good book so feel cheated when this time is actually spent reading a really poor book.
The story is... well I find it hard to write much about what the story is about as there isn't one really! It tells of Hannah who has a husband Cliff and a son Luke. They are on holiday in the south of France with her sister and her friend Tristan who is gay and her daughter Aisha. Nobody really gets on; Luke follows Aisha round but he is 9 and she is 13 and beginning to get moody, stand off-ish so the relationship isn't great anymore. Hannah obviously has issues with her sister who has quite a racy background, smokes, drinks, acts a fool. Her sister, Jill, doesn't really like Cliff and Tristan is over the top camp, going out drinking lots and also winds up Hannah yet they are all on holiday together out of choice... hmm... Now you would think that this set up would lead to some big dramas, huge arguments, lots of meat for a decent story but it's actually really poor. Throughout the holiday a few things become apparent about what has happened in the past but there's nothing that grabs your attention.
The characters are really poor and very stereotypical. The author portrays everyone in such a very stereotypical manner it's really poor. For example, the thirteen year old Aisha barely talks, just grunts, always has her head phones on... Cliff is seen as being quite serious, working hard, the 'sensible one' and I just feel really disappointed that there has been very little use of the authors imagination, he could have created really interesting characters but instead just went for those that we have all seen before. None of them stood out to me, none of them I felt I could relate to or would get irritated by, they were all just 'there' and not formed well enough for me to really get into their heads.
Throughout this book I kept expecting something to happen. For example one evening they are walking home from the pub and it's very dark, they cannot see the road and there are noises in the bushes... I thought oh at last we're going to have a big turn in the story and it's going to pick up! But no, nothing happened, they just got home. Or when they were splashing about in the pool and there was a bit of a water fight I thought there would be some action but no... nothing! I kept thinking that surely this book would pick up, something would happen to make it a story rather than just feeling like I was hearing a boring story from a friend who had just come back from her holiday! It just didn't do anything like that at all.
Some of the things that came up and they spoke about were really dull and predictable. It was obvious from the first few chapters that certain events had happened and they would come up and it was quite sad too, very little positive or uplifting in it, quite a depressing read really.
At the beginning after each chapter there was a page or two on each character which was told in first person (from Hannah) which introduced us to who they were but this was really odd, it was just a few paragraphs and then it would go to the next chapter which was in third person and I found it really difficult to switch back to third person mode which normally I don't do so it must be something to do with how this was written.
I won't be reading this again and I won't be recommending it at all. It is nothing new, nothing refreshing and it definitely was far from a page turner.
Summary: don't bother