Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Review: "The Recessionistas" by Alexandra Lebenthal
The Recessionistas looked so promising. I know that I shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but this one was particularly clever. Look closely and you'll see that the skyline of New York is made up of purses and handbags. The plot sounded promising as well. Good vs. evil, the little guy triumphs, what's not to like?
The plot, thankfully, didn't disappoint. The story was fast-moving and interesting and I was at the edge of my seat, hoping that good would triumph in the end. Even the characters, many who were spoiled and surrounded with an air of entitlement, were entertaining. I didn't particularly like any of them (with the exception of Renee), but I had fun reading about them and their so-called "problems" (as if it's actually a problem when you have to spend hours each week grooming while nannies, maids, and cooks take care of your household).
What I couldn't get past was the fact that The Recessionistas was plagued by awkward dialogue. It felt stilted and stiff, even for this plastic New York crowd. When I read a book I want the words coming out of their mouths to feel true to the character themself. I want to be able to hear them in my head, but I just couldn't get a handle on them while reading their conversations. I especially had a problem with Renee's voice. It just seemed unnatural, and it hindered my understanding of her character.
Another problem that I had with the book, and this one is minor, is the amount of explaination about hedge funds and Wall Street that dominated parts of the first half of the book. I'm horrible with math and financial transactions, I didn't understand anything about hedge funds even after I had read these parts. I don't mean to come off as being ignorant, but I would have been happy for this information to have been left out. This will not be the case for everyone, as some people will be able to understand the technical explainations, but it was certainly the case for me.
The book had potential, but it ultimately fell flat for me. It's too bad, because there were parts in here that were enjoyable, particularly the ending.
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Recommended to: People who enjoy books set in New York, particularly those dealing with money management
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge 2010
I received a copy of this book courtesy of The Hachette Book Group in exchange for an honest review.