Library Scavenger Hunt: July

This month’s Library Scavenger Hunt challenge was to find – and read – a book with a title more than five words long, which I thought sounded pretty fun. My initial intention was to pick up Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, but that went straight out the window when I actually arrived at the library, & went browsing in (and around) the children’s section instead, and found a tonne of books to choose from. Eventually, I narrowed it down to two, which I took home with me to decide between later: The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair by Lara Williamson, and…

A TRICK I LEARNED FROM DEAD MEN
Kitty Aldridge

Kitty Aldridge//A Trick I Learned from Dead MenLee Hart’s mother is dead. Cancer. And his stepfather Lester has retreated from the world and now only interacts with the television. And his deaf brother Ned refuses to get a job. It’s a good thing Lee has his job at the funeral home to support the three of them (and visits from the beautiful Lorelle to look forward to); but even that might be in jeopardy soon…

My problem with this book: It’s really misleading. The synopsis and the blurbs all promised humour (if dark) and poignant writing, and some kind of light at the end of the tunnel (which I guess there was, but only really as an afterthought), and the book just didn’t deliver on any of those things. Granted, humour is subjective, so this probably wasn’t the right kind of humour for me, but there’s no excuse for the rest…

My other problem with this book: The characters. I usually like character-driven stories, but I wasn’t able to connect with any of the main characters. I certainly felt sorry for Lee – stuck caring for a family who were entirely reliant upon him, but didn’t seem to value him at all – but I yo-yoed between liking him (very occasionally) and finding him irritating (more often). Ned and Lester (and even Lorelle) were both incredibly frustrating, and while the team at the funeral home (or rather, Derek) were reasonably likeable, they didn’t appear nearly often enough to balance out the rest of the cast.

All that said, I can’t say that I disliked this book, exactly; I just didn’t care about it.

2 stars[Find out more about the Library Scavenger Hunt by following this link!]

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