This year I committed to Roni Loren's Read and Watch Challenge. (You can get all the details here. ) Basically, every month has a word and the reader finds books and movies/TV shows based on the word.
The word for March was DIFFERENT.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette covered that without question.
First, here is the blurb to explain the story...kinda.
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.
Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.
On the surface it seems like a pretty straight-forward mystery-type story. It's not.
Most of the story is told through the emails, notes, memos, even faxes that Bee has gathered (which about halfway through I started thinking, "Where did she get all of this?" It is eventually all explained but it bugged me for a while.) Very little of the story is told in actual narrative form.
Which is why it fulfilled this month's challenge of "Different".
Now, I realize the purpose of these reviews is for me let you know if I liked it or not and if I'd recommend it or not.
I still don't know.
I *think* I liked it. The writing is excellent and there are at least two or three parts where I was laughing loud enough to disturb my dog.
It has a very Bad Moms vibe, though it is MUCH cleaner and has no sex. (Bad Moms is hilarious in my opinion. Especially if you're a mom living in the suburbs and hiding from the PTA.) Bernadette doesn't fit into the expected mold. She's struggling with some real issues stemming from the stress in her life, most of which is related to the Big Bad Thing that happened. And, while I would find the BBT devastating, I don't know that it could cause me to take some of the actions she does.
And then, there is the ending.
When my family watched The Maze Runner , my youngest daughter looked at us at the credits rolled and said, "It's like the moviemakers are telling us, 'Well, that's the end. Good luck figuring it all out.'"
That's how I felt about this. The ending required more suspension of belief that I was willing to give and left so many loose ends, it could have been the fringe of an afghan.
But, would I recommend it? Yes, especially to a teen looking for something other than the typical, "I must fall in love today" or "I am the chosen one" or any combination of those themes.
And, I am late to this party because it looks like there is a movie in the works with Kristen Wiig as a possible star. I'd see it.
For the Watch part of the challenge, my husband and I started a new series on Netflix.
Fifteen years after an unknown event has caused all electricity to stop working, plunging the world into another dark age, people have adjusted to life without planes, high-tech communication, and electricity. In small farming communities, life seems sweeter at this slower pace, but danger and mystery lurk in the shadows. After the militia kills a man who -- supposedly -- had something to do with the blackout, his daughter teams with unlikely allies to determine the truth about the cataclysm in order to reclaim the future.
It started off promising. Always interesting to see how we would survive and make-do without modern conveniences. Then, it got kind of Meh. The predictability was annoying. We watched a few more episodes to see if it improved. Then started calling what would happen in the next scene before it occurred. I got a phone call in the middle of one of the episodes that ended up lasting way longer than I expected. My husband paused the show for me.
We never went back to it.
Guess that says something.