Review: FAITHFUL by Alice Hoffman


Alice Hoffman
Published: November 1st 2016 by Simon & Schuster
Pages: 272

Rating: ⭐⭐

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithfulis the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

Say something.

Faithful was a bit of a struggle to get through. I was really excited about the premise, but sadly it didn’t live up to my expectations. It was actually a huge disappointment.

There were a couple of high points, though. The writing was good, even beautiful at times, with a little magic woven through the words. It was also a very fast read, but only during the times I actually managed to force myself pick up my copy and read a few chapters.

Unfortunately, the negative points outweighed the little I enjoyed about Faithful.

The main problem for me was the main character, Shelby. The book was told mainly from her point of view, and that made this a rather gloomy read. She was hard to connect with, especially when she was such a sad person and her point of view was colored with a lot of self-pity and self-loathing and not much else. It made the story hard to swallow, and this narrative got tiring after a point.

I also had the feeling that nothing really happened in the book. We got details and mentions of things that led Shelby to where she was at the beginning of the story, but aside from that, it seemed like nothing of substance happened. We read about Shelby’s day to day life, but that got quite boring after a while.

Everything felt very superficial and shallow, from the characters to the plot. There wasn’t a lot of development when it came to either of those things. I was supposed to fall in love with Shelby and see her redeem herself, but at the end of it that didn’t happen. At least not for me.


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