I had such high hopes for this book as it looked like quite an interesting idea – a book written entirely in lists. But at some point, I put the book down and didn’t pick it up again for 8 months, so it definitely left me feeling cold. In fact, I only picked it up again because I was fed up of seeing it in my ‘Currently Reading’ list on Goodreads, and by the end it felt more like a hard slog than an enjoyable experience.
The premise definitely didn’t live up to the hype. There were so many pages that had less than 20 words on which made the book feel like much more effort than it was worth. And then some pages weren’t really lists at all. In some cases, it seemed like the author had really had to try hard to find a way to get an actual plot into a list format, so some of the list headings were very contrived.
As well as my misgivings about the structure of the book, the plot also felt disappointing too. We are reading from the perspective of Darren, a (frankly spoilt) fifteen year old boy whose parents have just split up after his dad has announced he is gay. I just couldn’t put myself into Darren’s shoes, he just felt whiny and a tad pathetic to me. He winds up on a road trip with a girl called Zoey, who then vanishes into thin air, and he spends the rest of the book pining for her, all the while dragging along a poor girl who thinks she is his girlfriend.
I can’t really write much more about this book, as I don’t want it to turn into a diatribe. I’ll just finish by saying that while I enjoyed the premise, I just feel like it was let down by the execution. 600 pages that could easily have been condensed down to 100.