Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Her Fearful Symmetry – Audrey Niffenegger

I despised this hateful little book.

I honestly don’t even feel like thinking about why I hated this novel so much, but my conscience dictates that I positively owe you the service of instructing you NOT TO READ THIS.  I really went against my better judgment in choosing it off the shelf; I guess it was just a literary dry spell or something.  Remember The Time Traveler’s Wife?  Which was fashioned into a deeply unsatisfying movie?  Well, this is the same author.

So here’s the deal:  It had potential.  It’s a ghost story, featuring twins.  There are lots of these – and great ones, for heaven’s sake!  Remember The Thirteenth Tale?  The Shining?  The Dark Half?  (Not to mention the obvious:  Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley Twins:  Super Chiller Series.)*  Plus, Her Fearful Symmetry is kind of a kickass title, don’t you think?  But the main problem with the story was that all the characters are utterly, well, loathsome.  And I’m serious:  All of them.  The twins are pathetic and spoiled and co-dependent to the point of ICK, the love interests are, um, creeping pedophiles, and the main character, who is a ghost, is just, well, a MURDERING ASSHOLE.  And the ending?  Well, all the worst characters get exactly what they want.  THE END!  Thanks for reading, and aren’t you glad you wasted three entire evenings on this?!?  (Especially when I still have like seventy-five fabulous B*G episodes in my instant queue?)  So.  That’s the scoop.  Don’t read it, and I’d suggest not reading anything else by Niffenegger either, because the book was just.  That.  Bad. 

Yet, in the interest of not ending this post on a sour note, I must make mention of a literary event I’m absolutely quaking over.  Tana French’s new novel, Broken Harbor, releases next week, and I’m considering checking into a motel for the evening to read it cover to cover.  If you haven’t read her yet, get on it immediately – In the Woods is one of the best crime/murder/mystery books you will ever encounter. 

Happy reading!

*By the way, here’s an interesting tangent:  Guess what’s being made into a screenplay?  Sweet Valley High, people.  And guess who is writing that screenplay?  Diablo Cody, that’s who!  (I might have just peed, a little.)  


  1. Oh, I SAW that the Sweet Valley High girls were back, but I didn't know it was in screenplay form. I just heard there was a new Pascal novel imagining the twins as 30 year olds or something. something. I just don't know what!

    And I'm grateful to know about HFS. I really loved The Time Traveler's Wife, and have started to pick the new one up a dozen times. It must've been fate (and an anticipation of your scathing review) that stopped me from proceeding. But I do agree: the title rawks.

    1. You know, you might love HFS, then...a lot of smart people did. Just got an email from a good friend who ADORED it, so who knows? Thanks for reading, Sarah!