Hmmm…this is a difficult one…it may be because I have been up since 4:45am, and my brain just isn’t used to that…or it may be because I have read waaaay too many books to possibly come up with an answer…thank goodness for Goodreads!
I only started using Goodreads about two years ago but I am so thankful I did. I enjoy the social aspect of it, but that’s not the main reason I use it (many people were turned off when Amazon purchased the site), the main reason I use Goodreads is to track the books I read, and my initial thoughts of these books. Although to some, I don’t read a large amount of books each year, for me it is too hard to remember all of them, and to remember my initial thoughts, so I will forever be thankful for the “Read” shelf on Goodreads.
Browsing through the books I have read over the past few years I’d say “Water for Elephants” is a book that jumps out to me as one I wasn’t too excited about reading. In fact, I honestly couldn’t tell you why I decided to not only read it, but purchase from The Strand bookstore in New York (incidentally one of my favourite bookstores I have had the pleasure of visiting). I was late to the Water for Elephants train (geddit train*) and had only heard of it because of the movie. I have to admit I have not seen the movie, because the shorts made it look laaaaame (I’m sorry if it’s not…perhaps I should give it a go). I am not a huuuge lover of chick flicks, they have to be pretty good for me to enjoy, and this movie looked like the biggest chick flick of them all, the fact that it also starred Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson wasn’t really helping it’s cause, so my mind was made up about the book from the movie short…WHEN WILL I LEARN…don’t judge a book by its movie…or its movie short…so for reasons unknown I bought and read the book, and you know what, I loved it!
I really did enjoy reading it. It’s a simple read, the writing could have been a bit stronger, but it was a great story, quite sad at times, with humour thrown in there. It was such a great story that pulled me in from the prologue. I couldn’t stop reading it. A lot of the side characters made this book (including the elephant). I was satisfied by the ending (often not the way with “sadder” novels), and I actually really enjoyed reading the Author’s Note about the history of circuses, it made me want to research more about old time circuses as well.
So there you have it, lesson learnt, don’t ever judge a book by it’s movie trailer…as I often rant about, books are so often done a disservice by their movies, now I just need to remember my own opinions!
*A pun that hopefully any Water for Elephant readers will get