Tanya Egan Gibson's How to Buy a Love of Reading
Title: How to Buy a Love of Reading
Author: Tanya Egan Gibson
Published: May 14, 2009
Publishing Company: Dutton Adult
Page Count: 400
Summary via Goodreads
To Carley Wells, words are the enemy. Her tutor's innumerable SAT flashcards. Her personal trainer's "fifty-seven pounds overweight" assessment. And the endless reading assignments from her English teacher, Mr. Nagel. When Nagel reports to her parents that she has answered "What is your favorite book" with "Never met one I liked," they decide to fix what he calls her "intellectual impoverishment." They will commission a book to be written just for her-one she'll have to love-that will impress her teacher and the whole town of Fox Glen with their family's devotion to the arts. They will be patrons- the Medicis of Long Island. They will buy their daughter The Love Of Reading.
Impossible though it is for Carley to imagine loving books, she is in love with a young bibliophile who cares about them more than anything. Anything, that is, but a good bottle of scotch. Hunter Cay, Carley's best friend and Fox Glen's resident golden boy, is becoming a stranger to her lately as he drowns himself in F. Scott Fitzgerald, booze, and Vicodin.
When the Wellses move writer Bree McEnroy-author of a failed meta-novel about Odysseus' failed journey home through the Internet-into their mansion to write Carley's book, Carley's sole interest in the project is to distract Hunter from drinking and give them something to share. But as Hunter's behavior becomes erratic and dangerous, she finds herself increasingly drawn into the fictional world Bree has created, and begins to understand for the first time the power of stories-those we read, those we want to believe in, and most of all, those we tell ourselves about ourselves. Stories powerful enough to destroy a person. Or save her.
I'll admit that it took me a bit to get into this book. I was attracted to the cover art (so judgmental!) and the synopsis did sound promising, but I was not enthralled once I began. It wasn't until I got a good way into the story that I began to enjoy myself. Once that happened, it was quite good. Carley is likable because of her continuously pointed out flaws. The reader really feels for her, despite the fact that she does not like literature (SACRILEGE). Hunter is likeable in an unlikable kind of way. He treats Carley better than anyone else does, sees her for who she truly is, but has some personal demons that he needs to confront. It isn't until things get seriously/dangerously out-of-hand that he's able to do that. Bree, the storyteller, is an innocent bystander in the game that the rich members of Fox Glen continuously play. She is constantly trying to satisfy Carley's parents while attempting to forge a much needed bond with Carley. Their relationship is actually quick wonderful to watch. Overall, it's a pretty good book and I'd recommend it. It's a quick read as well.
Four stars on Goodreads. Perhaps if it had drawn me in a bit more right off the bat, it would have garnered a five star rating. Alas...
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