Review: One Fifth Avenue
Author: Candace Bushnell
Number of Pages: 464
Genre: Fiction, Chick-Lit
Where I Got It: Library
A bunch of people live in this super swanky apartment building on Fifth Ave. in NYC and are jerks to each other.
If you couldn't tell by my glowing summary, I pretty much hated this book. This is the second book I've read by Candace Bushnell and I just don't like her style. And I know most of you are thinking "Well Amanda... it is chick lit after all" But the thing is I've read chick lit that wasn't terrible. There was a plotline, there was character development, there was a conclusion that resolved something, there was a little bit of humor mixed in. Jane Green, Sophie Kinsella, and Marian Keyes are a few of the authors I've read that have made me want to keep reading this type of fiction.
I couldn't connect to any characters in the book and then just when it seemed like something substantial was about to happen, it just sort of fizzled out. The "big" moments in the book ended up being pretty anticlimactic and the ending left much to be desired.
The characters in the book were pretty annoying all the way throughout. When the rich occupants of One Fifth weren't catfighting with each other, they were trying to one up each other. Then you had a few characters who were completely unhappy with their lives and were constantly either complaining about it or figuring out how to get rich quick.
Then again, it made me think that maybe this was Candace Bushnell's whole point. That at some point, people who live this kind of lifestyle can think about only two things: what they have and what they have not. Even though I thought there was so much lacking, it also made me realize that that was exactly the point that the author was trying to make.
I get what she was trying to do, but the story could have been a lot better and still made that point.
The last thing I'll complain about is this. Usually women's fiction or chick lit or whatever you want to call it has a couple of sex scenes scattered throughout. That doesn't bother me so much. But the scenes in this book were so graphic and some of the language that was used was so specific that it just became kind of crass and tasteless after a while. This time I didn't get it.
Overall Rating: 1/5 (it gets a 1 because there was exactly one character that I could tolerate)
Coming Up Next: "Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer
In 1984, Ron and Dan Lafferty murdered the wife and infant daughter of their younger brother Allen. The crimes were noteworthy not merely for their brutality but for the brothers' claim that they were acting on direct orders from God. In Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer tells the story of the killers and their crime but also explores the shadowy world of Mormon fundamentalism from which the two emerged. The Mormon Church was founded, in part, on the idea that true believers could speak directly with God. But while the mainstream church attempted to be more palatable to the general public by rejecting the controversial tenet of polygamy, fundamentalist splinter groups saw this as apostasy and took to the hills to live what they believed to be a righteous life. When their beliefs are challenged or their patriarchal, cult-like order defied, these still-active groups, according to Krakauer, are capable of fighting back with tremendous violence. While Krakauer's research into the history of the church is admirably extensive, the real power of the book comes from present-day information, notably jailhouse interviews with Dan Lafferty. Far from being the brooding maniac one might expect, Lafferty is chillingly coherent, still insisting that his motive was merely to obey God's command. Krakauer's accounts of the actual murders are graphic and disturbing, but such detail makes the brothers' claim of divine instruction all the more horrifying. In an age where Westerners have trouble comprehending what drives Islamic fundamentalists to kill, Jon Krakauer advises us to look within America's own borders. (from Amazon)