Recent Reads: The Interestings (Book 17 of 2013)


When doing a 52/52 challenge, and your life gets really busy for a little while there, maybe don’t take out a book from the library that’s nearly 500 pages long. I got really excited when my boyfriend and I took a walk to the library and I saw this book on the New Releases shelf. Entertainment Weekly (my reliable go-to book review source) praised Meg Wolitzer’s novel and it had pretty much just come out.

When I borrow a new release from the library, I have two weeks with the book. That’s all well and good, but I was already finishing up a different book when I borrowed it. I was making a preemptive strike. Not to mention the fact that I had a wedding that upcoming weekend (meaning zilch time to read), I already knew it was going to take a while. But I thought…screw it, do it.

Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings is about a group of six friends who meet at a arts and crafts summer camp (Spirit-in-the-Woods). They call themselves The Interestings because they are 15-16 years old, and think they are more interesting than anyone else because of the authors they read and the talents they possess. Like any teenagers, they want to be different.

It is told in 3rd person. I would argue that Julie “Jules” Jacobsen is the main character…she’s the newbie in the group of people who have been attending the camp for years. She feels special, wanted, when the beautiful Ash Wolf invites her to join their little gang.
The novel takes us through the next several decades, into the gang’s 50s, talking about how far they get trying to be creative.

Many things happen in the book…I mean, it’s 460 pages so of course. Plus, we are revolving around at least 4 different characters throughout the majority. Keeping up with time frames and storylines can be difficult. But I will say this…it was a beautifully written book.
I never once felt that, while reading a story about one of the male characters, that it was a woman trying to write like a man.
Meg Wolitzer did a great job, and I really got into the story once I got the hang of the names.
This is a novel. I always say book or story…but this is a novel, written by a novelist.
So that’s hard for me too, sometimes.
But that’s what makes it a challenge. I didn’t just want to read short, easy books this year.
I wanted to expand my horizons and this did.

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