It’s 2022 and the only thing that’s different is that history is repeating itself. iPhones still work the same, traffic has only gotten worse, people still watch Bravo reality shows. Oh, and when kids (no matter what age) can’t get their own way, they plot their parents’ demise.
That’s the premise of Tell Me How This Ends Well, David Samuel Levinson’s novel that is supposed to be dystopic and futuristic but doesn’t really achieve either. I am not sure what was the point of setting this novel in the future.
What I Liked
- The cover was an instant draw. I mean, look at it.
- Hogarth Publishers has a project where famous authors are retelling Shakespearean works and I appreciated how this novel gives a nod to the family dynamics in Hamlet, the forbidden relationships reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet and the daddy’s-girl situation in King Lear.
What I Didn’t Like
- I didn’t like the format – the book doesn’t have chapters; instead, it is divided into parts to follow each of the four major characters on different days but this didn’t add any intimacy to the story so it felt unnecessary.
- I didn’t like the writing. There were too many flashbacks like each narrator wanted to tell me too much about his past to justify what he was doing in the present and it came across a little awkward, like a bad first date.
- I didn’t like how the author used and overused graphic, sexual content. It was bad.
- I didn’t like the premise of the novel. Adults who act like children, still blaming their parents for their disappointing childhood, about to lose their mother and deciding to kill their father also – this is not a spoiler since it is the first line in the blurb.
- I didn’t like the characters and struggled to find a single redeeming quality in any of them.
- I didn’t like the length of the novel – this could have been shortened and turned into a funny (maybe) story and maybe it would have worked but when a novel is over 400 pages, I expect the author to deliver substance to keep my attention during such a long commitment.
I gave it 2 (out of 5) stars for the positives mentioned above. I struggled not to DNF the book but I wanted to be able to give a complete review so I read through the whole thing but honestly, after page 200, I was skim-reading, searching in vain for the good parts.
Title: Tell Me How This Ends Well
Author: David Samuel Levinson
I received a free review copy from Blogging For Books but all opinions are my own. I mean, who would pay for me to say this about their book, right? As an author myself, I like to say good things about books but I won’t lie in order to do it.