Wednesday, March 6, 2013

65 Books in a Year: Book #8 Unnaturally Green

I hate reviewing books that I only have lukewarm feelings for; I especially hate when those books are memoirs. I mean here is this person who has obviously done something more than I've ever done and, yet, I can't bring myself to anything more than 'like' for their book.

The reasons for the disconnect are myriad, but usually fall under the umbrella of I couldn't relate to the author as a person (and, one must for a memoir to work at it most basic level), or the writing needed a little more polish (this one I feel especially guilty, again, the author has accomplished something that I've yet to do).

This book falls under both categories.

I assumed that, since this book was about a girl having trouble figuring out if what she was doing was really the right answer, I would be able to relate to her plight--no such luck. She actually reminded of a handful of girls that I had the unfortunate pleasure of having to be around for a semester in London. She seems to NEVER...and, I mean NEVER suffer. She seems to always have more than enough money, her apartment seems to be messy, only because she has so much stuff, she seems to have free time upon large copious amounts of free time, and, yet, she always has the right dress for the party, the right outfit for the audition and nothing ever goes wrong. And...and, every time something that truly resembles life happens she breezes through it--almost like she doesn't know how to write about real things. We get a large amount of the book devoted to her nervousness as an actress, her banana regime, her lack of bowel movements, but not so much is given to her relationship with her grandmother, a woman who passes away while she is in SF, a woman who she obviously loves and still misses...I would have liked more about her and her parents and family. Heck, I would have liked more about the cohabitation with her man friend. I would have like more about rehearsals, the game nights, the practices...I would have liked more about being 'unnaturally green'. We only get surface.

This brings me, of course, to the writing...I think the wrong parts were beefed up (I've already talked about that), but, without meaning to, I hope, Miss Ricci kind of paints herself as a bit of a brat who wants to be Elphaba, but not really...who graduates from Yale (Yale...people) and can't seem to figure out what to do with her degree or her life, which is fine, but what needed to be portrayed as the wanderlust yearning that everyone in their 20s hopefully has, just sounds like whining most of the time--maybe that's because we get into her head with sidebar comments and conversations a wee much.

I did enjoy the all the bits about San I've never been. I would have liked to have read about it more.

I'm sure that Felicia Ricci is a lovely lady. I think that she has written a book, much like any 20-something writing a book about their first adult adventure. I'm glad that she had the stick-to-it-ness to write about her adventures in CA, there is a bravery there that I can't explain and I am glad that she had the follow-through to turn her blog to a book, but all I can think about is (except I'm 36):

I hope she writes another book about her time in San Francisco after age and time have given her some perspective, and she's not afraid to get a little personal about people and events that matter to her heart and to her story.

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