To stop reading a book when I find it boring or to push on through? That is the question.
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Gosh. This book was a boring read for me to get through. I know I should have stopped reading it, but because it was short, I felt I should push through.
I read this book as a coming of age story of two strangers turned friends living in their country's unrest, who turn into lovers then into strangers. This book was filled with too many literary devices for me to enjoy as a leisure read. I liked the characters, yes, but after the first chapter, I did not care too much for the over flamboyant prose. The author likes to use run-on sentences, which I usually enjoy reading. However, he uses them in EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE! So I found it obnoxious and unpleasant to plow through.
There is a magical realism moment, which I'm not sure is figurative or literal. This book can probably bring out a lot of discussions, but I don't care enough to investigate. I liked the subject matter that the author touched on: living in a country with ongoing war, life of a refugee, having to decide to leave your home or stay, people who represent home but no longer feel like home. It touches on real and heavy issues, sometimes the light romantic tone suddenly being thwarted by destruction of a city, causing reality to become heavy. It has some good things, but overall the book was flat for me.
I blame this book for the delay in my reading in the last three months of the year, because it took me the longest time to read. This was supposed to be the book for me. I mean, it's one of the big fantasy series that I see in a lot of reviews, and it was always checked out at my library, almost leading me to believe that this book really is they hype. BUT, I could not get myself to admit that I liked this book.
This book follows a rebel who sets up a team and try to overthrow the imperialist government that rule the kingdom they live in.
I found it way too long for what we needed to know, too technical in the magic system terminology. I thought many of the characters overlapped, to the point that I thought they were just the same character. I didn't really care that much for the characters, and the times I did it was just really their morals that I agreed with more than their actual self. I didn't like how one of our main characters, and the only female, was portrayed. I felt the author leaned into the stereotype of a stubborn, angsty teenager who just happens to have an all-powerful ability that ends up saving the day. The pace was dreadfully slow, and the action scenes were too convoluted.
I really couldn't get immersed in this book - first, after the intro, then at the end of various parts. <sigh> I should have stopped reading while I was still ahead, but maybe will try a different Sanderson world, as I don't want to completely give up on him.