This book got me out of a funk. I had been reading a lot of fluff and I was definitely ready for something with substance. This book was the ticket and helped me break out of the junky teen novels I can get sucked into so easily. It’s something I don’t quite understand about myself. I can get very interested in teen books that are nothing more than brain candy so easily. The things is, I never finish them feeling like I learned anything or got anything out of them. When I read a book like this, I get a much different feeling. I feel like I’ve just read a truly great book by a wonderful writer. Even though I can’t always put words to it, I know I’ve gotten something real from this book.
I love good characters. If you’ve read even a couple of my reviews you have surely noticed this about me. The way the characters are written can make or break a story for me. Even if it has a good plot, I will not enjoy a book if the author can’t write the characters well. Niffenegger is a master at this. Henry and Clare are so real. They are very possibly my favorite characters of any book, and definitely my favorite couple. I’ll go ahead and admit that I’m in love with Henry. I understand what Clare sees in him. He’s brilliant. And a librarian, which is always a plus! Clare is just as wonderful. I relate to both of them really well, you know, aside from the whole time traveling thing. It’s difficult for me to put it into words, so I’m going to give up and hope you understand what I mean.
The plot wasn’t driving, but it wasn’t supposed to be. After all, it’s about their life. It’s not exactly a thriller novel. I tend to enjoy this type of story more than a thriller with lots of action. This book wasn’t exciting, it was moving. I admit I cried, a few times actually. Niffengger’s writing probably had something to do with that. I loved her writing. It all flowed well and really sucked me into the story. I got really emotionally attached to the characters because I felt surrounded by the story.
I’m going to take a second to talk about the movie adaptation, though it has no bearing on my rating. I watched the movie before I read the book. I normally don’t do this, but my mother told me she couldn’t get into the book. I thought I’d watch the movie first to see if I really wanted to read it. I loved the movie when I saw, and I still really like it. However, the exclusions of some things make them seem like two different stories to me. They have the same basic plot, but the movie seemed censored. The Henry and Clare in the movie are not the same people as the Henry and Clare in the book. I definitely prefer the book version. They have more edge.
I will never understand what my mother was going on about. She never finished it and I couldn’t get enough of it. I guess we just don’t have the same taste. But don’t listen to my mother. This book is worth the read. It became an instant favorite and I highly recommend it.