I didn't know much about Nora Ephron, and much of the story does discuss the author's relationship with her, and their lives. However, I still found the book very interesting, and inspirational, and a lovely listen.
I have already recommended this book to my friends. The story was interesting, and kept me listening longer than I should usually. I loved the characters, the story, the complexity of their lives, and the time and setting of the story.
The main character, Cora, was my favorite. She was realistic, but positive. Complex, but simplistic in other ways, too. I loved her feminist qualities despite the norms of the time. I loved the way she navigated her life and circumstances.
Her narration stayed out of the way, so to speak. Some narrators are distracting in the way their voice or dialects they use interfere with the story, but this one was perfectly suited.
Some critiques I read online have indicated that the way the book wraps up is too fast and too much like "tying up loose ends" but I really enjoyed that. I did not have an extreme reaction to the book except when it was over, and I was sad that I didn't get to listen to more!
We bought this book to listen to on a road trip with our two young teen kids. We were really interested in the story line and couldn't wait to get started! However, the longer we listened, the more laughable the story became. Even the youngest in the car at 13, kept finding holes in the story. Eventually we only continued to listen to the story because we were just making fun of it. An entire motif seemed to be the author's habit of putting the letter Z in front of everything in an attempt to make if futuristic somehow. The only people who might enjoy this book are people who are young enough to not see the holes in the plot, but still old enough to tolerate the death and starvation of teenagers. I'm not sure that demographic exists. Also, the main character is very easily swayed from caring about her friend and ill younger brother, to being wrapped up in these rich old people's lives. The same old people who creepily "rent" teenagers' bodies and then make out with real teenagers, which is really disturbing in itself. The main character is also very preoccupied with how hot all of these rich teens are in her new world. There were parts of the book where my teen son literally said out loud, "why is she so worried about this date she has and not worried at all anymore about her sick, starving brother?"
The plot needed to be better developed, with more connections, less holes, more consistency. It didn't seem that the author knew where the story was going at any point.
The performance was great.
We were all disappointed in the book. We continued to listen throughout our road trip purely just to make fun of the more ridiculous parts, and in small part because we had invested so much time already and wanted to see it through. It was a waste of time.
I've listened to a lot of audio books, and this was one of the best. Thoroughly entertaining, and I couldn't wait to get in the car to turn it on again! It helps that I'm already a fan of Tina Fey, and SNL and 30 Rock, but I found it really funny and interesting! A little bit of explicit language, but not much, and doesn't detract from the book at all.
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