Welcome to the first of what I hope will be many Rogue Review posts!
First, a little background. When I lived in Chicago, I wanted to start a review blog where I would review just about anything I came across: books, restaurants, products, whatever struck my fancy. I planned to call the blog Rogue Reviews because because my hair tends to err on the red side of auburn, so it seemed appropriate :) . That idea fell by the wayside, I started Accidental Intentions, and the rest is history.
Lately, I’ve been reading a lot more. Over my three week semester break I’ve read four and a half books and plan to continue reading a lot this semester. I tend to pick books at the library based on all sorts of random qualities including size, cover color, and occasionally good word of mouth. Because of this, I often end up reading books that are not necessarily bestsellers. I’ve found some really interesting (and some really awful) books this way.
Though I like my method, I realize that some people actually like to go to the library or bookstore with a specific book in mind. The goal of Rogue Reviews is to introduce you to a book you might not have found otherwise. I don’t plan on reviewing well-established or already popular books because they’ve already received enough publicity. I want to help you expand your reading boundaries and maybe help a lesser-known author gain a new fan or two.
With that being said, let’s get on to my first review!
Normal People Don’t Live Like This
by Dylan Landis
Dylan Landis’s book Normal People Don’t Live Like This came out in 2009, though parts of it had been published as early as 2003. This book follows the lives of various characters living in New York City in the 1970s with a particular focus on two characters, Leah Levinson and her mother, Helen as they navigate the worlds of high school and motherhood. Leah and Helen struggle with a variety of problems throughout the story that give the reader a better glimpse into “real life” than some other works you might find that use similar settings.
I’ve never read a book styled quite like Normal People Don’t Live Like This. Nine of the ten sections of the book were published independently in magazines, periodicals, and short story collections prior to the publication of Normal People Don’t Live Like This. Because of this, each section has a sense of independence while still being connected to the book as a whole. I found this to be a little confusing chronologically at one or two points in the story, but overall I liked the effect and was impressed by Landis’s ability to enhance each story with the others.
Though the characters are often teenagers, the book does have its fair share of mature themes and is probably not something you’d want to hand to an eleven year old. I enjoyed reading it, though, and think it’s worth picking up.