Book review: “Carrie Pilby” by Caren Lissner (spoiler free)

Hi all,

So I’ve been pretty shite at blogging this month. I was away a lot and to be honest, didn’t feel motivated. As I’m currently stuck in bed with something very much resembling bronchitis, I thought I would get two posts out this weekend in between two coughing fits. I’m going to have fantastic abs by next week if this continues.

In this first post, I wanted to talk about a book I’ve read recently: “Carrie Pilby” by Caren Lissner. I saw the trailer for the movie adaptation that should be coming out soon and thought that it could be a fun and light read.

This novel is the story of a girl who is a “genius”. She went to Harvard when she was 15 and is now living in a flat her father owns in New York City. She doesn’t have a job and freelances here and there. She spends most of her time in bed or at her therapist’s office. In short, the story is about her trying to find her place/some friends in the city.

I’m going to be straight up with you; I really did not like it! Actually, I kind of hated it. I am not one to be overly negative and I am usually able to find some positives but in this case, if I can save you the few hours it took me to get through this book, I will. I feel like I should probably explain why I feel so strongly against this novel.

51ku-rfqgyl-_ac_ul320_sr204320_First of all, the main character is one of the most annoying protagonist I have ever come across. She is a whiny privileged girl who thinks everyone else is an idiot. She might be school smart but she is socially inept, and not in a cute way. I couldn’t get over her ignorant and pretentious comments and I found her extremely hypocritical, which is ironic as she hates everyone else for being hypocrites.

Most importantly, I found this book to be extremely problematic. Carrie makes comments that are borderline racist and homophobic. She never fully admits that she is privileged and the way mental health is approached is just a big no-no for me. There’s also a lot of discussion about adultery, religion, inappropriate relationships and sex, which could have been interesting if the way she talks about it wasn’t so bloody immature and wrong.

Finally, the plot is flat and not much happens. The main premise is that Carrie’s therapist gives her a list of goals that she must achieved before the end of the year and she goes about doing it. I thought the idea was good but the realisation was poor. I didn’t get excited by any aspect of the story!

I’ve realised that now that I’ve got my Kindle, I tend to be a bit less selective and do end up reading a lot of crap. Because I’m a perfectionist, I can never not finish a book. I feel like if I’ve started one, I should finish it otherwise it means I’ve wasted my time reading some of it and didn’t even get the satisfaction of finishing it. It’s weird and I should probably work on my thought process but right now, I think I’m just going to be more picky about what I read by looking at reviews and getting a general sense of what I’m getting into.

In the case of Carrie Pilby, I was actually really excited to read it after watching the movie trailer so I don’t necessarily think it was a completely unthought purchase (only 99 cents though) but I should have definitely looked at reviews before reading. Not sure if I’m going to watch the movie now. Oh well, it’s a constant learning process.

Keep your eyes peeled for tomorrow’s post. It should be short and sweet (and hopefully a little more positive).



PS: If you’ve read this book, I’d be curious to know your thoughts. If you liked/loved it, that’s ok; to each his own!



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