Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Tale of Lifelong Friendship

I received the book Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah (496 pgs, St. Martin Press) from Anna at The Book Report Network. I have never read a book by Kristin Hannah before and I'm glad she gave me the opportunity. Many thanks to Anna!! Since the book was released in February '08, I'm also using this book as the first in meeting my goal at The Pub '08 Challenge!

Tully and Katie. Katie and Tully. The two girls met in the summer of 1974, when they were both in 8th grade. Katie was from a normal, middle-class family. She wore glasses and braces and was basically a nobody at school. Her mom was constantly trying to get in her business and help her to make friends...to no avail. That is, until Tallulah Rose Hart, better known as Tully, moved into the house across the street. Tully was beautiful, destined to be the most popular girl in school....so cool and confident. But looks can be deceiving because Tully was as insecure as they come. She was living with Cloud, the mother who had abandoned her twice before. The mother that was more interested in demonstrations and pot than her own daughter. Tully was always on edge, just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

But one night, Katie and Tully started talking. From that moment, they were inseparable. Until Cloud once again took off, and Tully had to go back and live with her grandmother. But a best friend is a best friend, and even distance couldn't keep them apart.

As the years went by, the girls went to college and studied journalism. Tully wanted to be a star. The next national anchorwoman. And Katie. She really just wanted to find love. Through careers and life changes, the two women stayed friends. Best Friends Forever. Or one could hope.

When I was reading this book, I couldn't help but think I had read it before. Then it hit me. I saw the movie: Beaches. Ok....so it wasn't exactly the same, but the theme was there. Although the writing was pleasant, the storyline is a tired one. One that has been done MANY times before.

And the characters of Kate and Tully. Very black and white...in a world that is many shades of gray. Tully was selfish and self-centered. Thinking of her career and her career only. Even when she knew she was in love, she didn't think twice about throwing it away for her job. It didn't even make her think twice about stabbing her best friend in the back for ratings (good intentions aside, she had to know she was wrong). And Kate was just the opposite. She had a very good job, but didn't think twice about giving it up when she found a man to complete her. In today's world, women really can have both, and it kind of frustrates me when I read books like this.

For all of this, I didn't hate this book. I've just read it all before. It didn't stop me from reading it, and even being sad at the end (if you've seen Beaches, I'm sure you see where this is going). But in the words of Randy Jackson from American Idol, "Dude. It just didn't do it for me". 3/5
Also Reviewed by:


Rhinoa said...

I know what you mean about feeling like you have read a story time and time again and this version is nothing new. I Small Island by Andrea Levy recently and it was the same for me. Hopefully you will enjoy the next book you read more.

Angela/SciFiChick said...

I don't like drama without a nice little happy ending, so I'm sure I wouldn't care for this either!

Amy said...

Nice Review Stephanie. I felt exactly the same way about this book. Wanted to, tried to, nahhhh!

Love the visual of Randy.

Nymeth said...

Most of the reviews I've seen of this one say similar things. I guess that when you have a really overdone story it becomes extra important to make the book unique in other ways...which shouldn't be easy.

Kim L said...

Nice review, and you've pinpointed pretty much exactly how I felt about this book. It had a familiar ring to it, and the characters didn't feel fully developed.

Trish said...

Petunia reviewed this one a few weeks ago and I think she said the same thing--about Beaches! I loved the movie growing up, but this book just isn't hitting it with people. Oh well! A check off a challenge list is always a great feeling anyway.

Booklogged said...

Loved Beaches, but don't excited about reading the same story.

Juliana said...

I loved this book :) I haven't seen Beaches, but I love Firefly Lane <3 Oh well.