My Absolute Darling – Gabriel Tallent

1 October 2017
My Absolute Darling Book Cover My Absolute Darling
Gabriel Tallent

Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father.

Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. The reader tracks Turtle's escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, and watches, heart in throat, as she struggles to become her own hero--and in the process, becomes ours as well.

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent was a DNF at 16% into the book. Having tried to give it to 20% before I decided, I found myself avoiding the book.  I just couldn’t make it, though I wanted to.

This will be an unpopular opinion, but here goes.

I rarely write reviews on DNF books, but I was particularly disappointed in this one because I really think I’d like the story otherwise.  In fact, I STILL think I’d like the story if I could just get past the writing style!

First and foremost, the dialog.  Oh. My. God.

  • “…” Turtle says.
  • “…” Martin says.
  • ”…” Turtle says.
  • “…” Martin says.
  • “…” Turtle says.
  • “…” Martin says.

You get the idea.  You could seriously make a drinking game out of this book.  Take a drink every time you hear the word “says”.  You would be drunk long before the end of the first chapter.  This style may be purposeful on the author’s part, however, I found it to be mundane and made the dialog drag.

Then, at 16%, when still, not much had happened in the book, I found myself avoiding it.  I listened to it on audio, and the narrator had a raspy monotone voice.  Combined with the long drawn out descriptions of guns and bugs and knives, I was nodding off.

I’m a little bummed that I could not finish this book because based on the description of the book and some of the rave reviews, I really think I’d like it.  If I could just get past the monotony, anyway.

Ultimately, I hate giving low reviews, especially on promising books.

I cannot even give much of a synopsis more than what the published synopsis already says, as I just couldn’t make it to that point.  So sorry, Mr. Tallent, I tried!

But don’t take my opinion as gold.  Check out the book for yourself, and let me know how you liked it!  1-star.  Sorry.  🙁

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

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