Friday, December 21, 2012

Reading: How to Breath Underwater by Julie Orringer

I do not quite remember how I came across How To Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer.  I must have saw the book in a magazine or something and a few months later I was at a clearance book store and found the book up front.  I was very eager to buy it!  I do not normally read a book filled with short stories so I knew this was going to be a new experience for me.  After all, that is what this 50 books experience is about!
The book was not quite what I expected but the surprise was nice.  The entire book is essentially about young girls becoming young women and learning how to metaphorically breathe underwater...or just learning to swim in general!  My favorite story of the book was one titled Isabella Fish which centered around a girl and her brother whose girlfriend died in a car accident.  Another story I liked was Stations of the Cross because of the themes it implied.  I did not much like the story line though.  The story pointed our precisely what is wrong with organized religion today in terms of being a Catholic which I liked.  However, the facts in this story were not all correct!  Growing up Catholic, I found many mistakes in the story and that sort of irked me. 
While each story in this novel was unique in it's own way, I found them all to be very predictable and often times I predicted the endings beforehand and that sort of ruined the reading experience.  It was not like I was guessing the ending. I felt like I knew the ending and that was annoying.  It was tedious. That being said, all of the stories were very realistic in their own right and they definitely seemed to do a good job at depicting what most girls are like and what they are going through in today's culture/society.  If I had to pick a least favorite story I would have to choose Note to Sixth-Grade Self.  To add another note about individual stories, the first story titled Pilgrims was quite horrifying!  It was an intense story to start the book with!
Overall, fresh read.  I love the title and the themes but the stories themselves could have been better.  I will give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

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