September 2016
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Firefly Lane, Kristin Hannah

I received FIREFLY LANE as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.  The book is about two best friends and their travels through life in the 70’s and onwards.  Tully has a deadbeat drug addict for a mother, while Kate comes from a smothering, loving Irish family.  They are different in many ways, but manage to get past this and become lifelong friends.

This book is definitely chick lit.  Too many references to Tully’s big boobs.  It also was somewhat unrealistic and manipulative.  It’s very easy to care for both Kate and Tully, although Kate is definitely more sympathetic, especially in the years when she falls into Tully’s shadow.  I consistently got the feeling that Kate was a vastly better person and I liked her for it.  Tully tried, but she got on my nerves so often, particularly regarding her attitude with Marah and Johnny.

I could feel the author purposely manipulating my feelings.  This isn’t the kind of book I like, and mostly for that reason.  I don’t like girly books that set out to make the reader cry.

*spoiler*

I hated the ending, it hit too close for me and while I appreciated the author’s message, surely there could have been a better way.   Maybe not, but personal reasons made me very unhappy with it.  I dislike when authors play the cancer card, even if they’ve been through it before – it’s too damaging for everyone involved, and making me care about the characters makes it even more painful when I have real-life knowledge of what happens to families like Kate’s.

*end spoiler*

I’d have called this book brain candy if it weren’t for the horrible manipulative emotional ending, but if it weren’t for that, it would be forgotten very easily.  As it is, it’s still a good chick lit novel.  It’s written well and succeeds in its mission of making you care what happens to these people as you watch them grow up.  It reminds me of books I read as a teen, especially in the beginning.  I’d recommend it to friends who already enjoy this sort of thing.

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