Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I Regret Everything

Oh... I bet you came here thinking I was going to make some super huge confession, didn't you?


Instead, it's a book review!

I Regret Everything- A Love Story by Seth Greenland
I Regret Everything: A Love Story
A modern love story, I Regret Everything confronts the oceanic uncertainty of what it means to be alive, and in love. Jeremy Best, a Manhattan-based trusts and estates lawyer, leads a second life as published poet Jinx Bell.  To his boss’s daughter, Spaulding Simonson, at 33 years old, Jeremy is already halfway to dead.  When Spaulding, an aspiring 19-year-old writer, discovers Mr. Best’s alter poetic ego, the two become bound by a devotion to poetry, and an awareness that time in this world is limited.  Their budding relationship strikes at the universality of love and loss, as Jeremy and Spaulding confront their vulnerabilities, revealing themselves to one another and the world for the very first time.

A skilled satirist with a talent for biting humor, Greenland creates fully realized characters that quickly reveal themselves as complex renderings of the human condition – at its very best, and utter worst. I Regret Everything explores happiness and heartache with a healthy dose of skepticism, and an understanding that the reality of love encompasses life, death, iambic pentameter, regret, trusts and estates.

Admittedly, I did not love this book like so many others have. And by that, I mean I might be the only person to give a 3.5 star review that I would bump up to 4 because Goodreads refuses to work in halves and whole numbers makes me feel like I'm making a commitment I'm not ready for. Also, I'll be the first to say I feel like maybe I am not smart or hipster enough to read this. I feel like to really just get this book and have it move you so, you almost need to be like a cast member in Portlandia, a show I don't get the fuss about. 

There, I said it. I'm like the anti-hipster and I don't know what's wrong with me. 

But this is the story of Jeremy and Spaulding. The really GREAT thing is that the chapters alternate between their point of view, so it does make for a rather fast read. I will always appreciate books like that because it's like a mental trick that keeps me reading when I legitimately should be sleeping. The only thing that kind of drove me a  bit batty is that there literally are no quotation marks. Now, I don't know if it's just my review copy, or if this is a thing now, we just snub our noses at punctuation. It's very reminiscent of James Frey who uses no punctuation and his paragraphs follow zero grammatical rules and yet I love it so. I don' t know, but until I got used to this in the first few chapters, I found myself re-reading passages and determining that they are indeed, part of a conversation. 

Here's what I love about the book: character development? Spot on. Spaulding is a bit of an odd duck for me, but she's quirky and she feels like someone you would know. Jeremy as well, he's trying to be a lawyer and while he's not bad at it, he really wants to be a poet. And poets really don't make enough to pay bills so he struggles with this and balancing adulthood. Together, it's kind of an imperfectly perfect match. Although the book is a bit of a downer, it's a realistic downer. You totally know a couple like this and you find yourself not sure if you are rooting for them or not because they don't make sense together, but maybe that's why they would make sense together. 

I'm sure you're following my logic, here. 

There are some one liners in the book that are hilarious, but they are so far and few between that you wish there were more. If there were more, I feel like I would have been hooked by this book. Instead, I'm left feeling indifferent. It wasn't bad by any means, it just isn't one that I would readily blurt out when someone asks for a book recommendation. It's one that will be on my shelf and I'll casually remember. Seth does have a website and you can visit that HERE. If the name sounds familiar, it's probably because you recognize him as a writer-producer for the HBO series Big Love. Which I didn't watch because I'm too poor for HBO, but I have friends who were obsessed with the show . 

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