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Book Review: The Wanderers

Updated: Apr 23, 2023

The Wanderers is a story about coming home, finding home, and finding yourself. Other than that. I’m not really sure. The story didn’t really seem to have an over arching plot which is fine for a slice of life manga but less good for a novel. I picked this ARC up because I enjoy a good finding place story, but I didn’t get exactly what I was looking for.

While the writing itself was lovely and the author clearly knows how to write beautiful description, it was often used to wax poetic about random crap. Like what one of the main character’s offices looked like. Which would be fine, if the office was in any way an important set piece or if any of the items described showed back up again. They didn’t.

It was just there as filler.

I’m not a big fan of filler.

Worse, I couldn’t connect with the characters. There was something that put me off of them.

For instance, the main character Sarah refers to her grandmother in her head by her first name. I’ve never thought of my either of my grandmothers by their first names. Ever. EVER!!! It is something that felt out of place to me and pulled me out of the story because ostensibly the character in question is around my age and geographic region.

The same is true with the comment from the same character that “… My freshman lit classes aren’t quite ready for Bede.” That smacked of elitism to me. Especially since I did as a freshman read Bede. I even wrote my senior thesis my first semester of my sophomore year on Bede. Bede is not that hard. Seriously.

I also felt like there were too many storylines going on and too many POV characters. It was hard to keep track especially since the character voices weren’t distinct enough. I also didn’t like the cheap shots using animals to artificially engender emotion.

Pro-tip: Don’t hurt animals or any character because you want the reader to feel something. It’s cheap.

The writing wasn’t bad, but ultimately I didn’t connect with the characters and it took me a long time to get through this and it was like pulling teeth the whole time.

The other problem is this was marketed as a romance. This is not romance. it’s much more literary fiction. It was not what I was looking for. And worse, I was bored.

Two stars.

*** I received an ARC through NetGalley.

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