The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells
This book has been on my TBR for the last few months, mainly because I bought it on a whim and it has been sitting in my stack untouched for the better part of last year. I decided to try reading it over the winter break because it’s relatively short (at around 300 pages) and I got it based on a recommendation so I figured I had to at least give it a try. The premise of the book is really interesting and what first drew me in. Greta Wells, living in 1985, is reeling from the death of her twin brother and seeks the help of various therapies to help her cope. During a therapy session, Greta wishes so hard she could be somewhere else to take away the pain of losing her twin brother, and she inadvertently slips between two different time periods and see glimpses of what her life could have been, had she been born into a different time. Everyone in her current life is there, including her brother. I don’t read a lot of books about time travel, but when I do I try to be open to the author’s interpretation. It’s going to be different, and likely contradict what I envision it to be, but that’s okay.
My first impressions of The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells were not great, and that was partially due to many reviews I read online. It seemed like readers either adored this book or really didn’t like it due to various reasons: confusion, lack of tension or buildup and too much foreshadowing. (Reviews on Goodreads were incredibly more diverse than the reviews on Amazon so beware next time you read any reviews; it seemed like Amazon only had positive reviews whereas Goodreads were more varied). At first I really thought I would be able to look past those elements and really not mind them, but unfortunately it was harder than I anticipated. One more piece of information that really impacted my reading of this book was (unfortunately) that the author is male. I really did not want this to influence my reading of the book but it did. Greta is a woman, the story is told from her point of view, and I shouldn’t be able to tell when reading whether or not the story was written by a man or a woman; but it was so obviously written by a man that it made the experience of reading it just feel off.
However, that wasn’t what I took issue with when it came to this book and what made it so difficult to read. I simply did not care for the writing style. I’m not even counting this book on my Goodreads because I couldn’t even finish reading it. Every time I picked it up and read for even a half hour, I would think of the time I could have spent reading a book I actually enjoyed or wanted to read – and that is not the kind of experience you should have while reading.
This wasn’t the only book I attempted to read in 2017 but unfortunately couldn’t continue with. I won’t list them, or critique them too harshly, because I really think it just comes down to tastes plain and simple.