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I know the novel got pretty panned by critics when it came out
on January 14, 2015
I didn't really know what to expect. I know the novel got pretty panned by critics when it came out. I'm not even sure why I picked it up - I wasn't that much of a fan of Life of Pi, which I thought was too contrived. And then it took me awhile to warm up to this novel, which starts a bit too randomly, a bit too cute, a bit too cloyingly, and somewhere near the middle I was starting to lose patience. But then it picks up again. The end, the games for Gustav, were some of the most troubling things I have ever read. Not necessarily in a bad way, but just in that sort of dug into your soul way. If it weren't for the last twenty of so pages, I think I would have rated this far lower, maybe 2, 2.5? And you need the rest of the novel to get to the last twenty pages.
Pleasantly surprised I guess is the more concise way to put it. I was pleasantly surprised.