Wednesday 14 June 2017

Review: Not Working by Lisa Owens

Now and again we all lie awake wondering what on earth we're doing with our lives . . . don't we? Claire Flannery has had more than a few sleepless nights lately. Maybe she shouldn't have walked out of her job with no idea what to do next. Maybe she should think before she speaks -- and maybe then her mother would start returning her calls. Maybe she should be spending more time going to art galleries, or reading up on current affairs, and less time in her pyjamas, entering competitions on the internet. Then again, maybe the perfect solution to life's problems only arises when you stop looking for it . . .

Review: This was an interesting read for me. Its definitely not exactly what I was expecting it to be. I was initially drawn in by the cover, you know I love a good coffee cup, and then by the title. I too am currently not working. Then I read the premise and the early praise his novel and thought, yes I will definitely like this but it didn't quite meet my expectations... A have heard a lot of people talking about the way the book is structured. Its not traditional prose and yet it isn't written in verse either. This book is written in little snippets of thought, kind of like a stream of consciousness, however each section has a heading so you know what each part is going to concern. Each section can range from one small paragraph to a few pages. I would like to be controversial and say that I liked this structure. It did make the story harder to follow but I feel like it made me identify with the character more. I felt a little like I was reading Tumblr posts or facebook updates and it really stuck a chord with me. 

Although I did feel like I could identify with the character more because of this structure, I didn't necessarily warm to her that easily. Obviously this character has chosen to leave her job, a move which I made too so I can feel what she is going through. She is also in a long term relationship and so is in the position of being the one at home while her partner goes off to work. I did think that she was somewhat self-centred though and so I found her difficult to like for those reasons. I did definitely agree with her reasons for doing most things but struggled to side with her on all things. 

There are is a range of supporting characters in this novel too. I really disliked Claire's family and her partners family too. I thought them to be seriously backward and really couldn't believe the way they were behaving sometimes. This did create drama for the storyline but I'm not sure people can be so narrow minded in this day and age. I really liked Luke, he too felt real and so I found him easy to identify with. he is not perfect at every moment throughout this story, but for a sleep-deprived trainee medic, he had a lot of patience. 

Its quite hard to sum up my thoughts on this book. I liked the premise of the story and I enjoyed the way it was written. In terms of the story arc itself and the characters involved in the story, I wasn't entirely convince and so I would say that it was a mixed bag for me. I would really like to find out if the author intended there to be a follow up to this book and that is why the story arc is the way that it is. But my best advice to you is to read it for yourself, especially if you enjoy books about women in their twenties trying to find their way in life, and see for yourself!

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