A few weeks ago I handed the Book Thief to a friend and told her to stick with it, and get over the beginning of the book, it was worth seeing it through. This book became a version of this for me... I really struggled through the first 100 pages, and I kept recalling my friend who recommended it, saying that it was a good read, albeit a different one.
I am glad that I stuck it out - this is a book that will stay with me for a while. Like a few of the books I have read this year, I think that this one is hard to pigeonhole in to any one category. Part mystical and magical, part family drama, part love story, part tragedy. Beautifully written, pissed me off completely at times, and tugged on my heart strings at other times. This is a highly unusual book, and if you check out reviews of it, it tends to have a polarizing effect on it's readers, people either love or hate it. I would say that any book that evokes a reaction, and also distracts you because you want to see it's conclusion is a good book. Would I shout from the mountaintops that you have to read this one? No, but it is a really good book. Amazing for someone who is ESL, amazing that it is written by a man. The archetypes in this book, the poetry, the relationships, okay, this book caught me off guard. This is Setiawan's first novel, and I can't imagine what his next one will be about.