Book Review | White Fur, Jardine Libaire
There are some books that you really want to love.
Maybe you have heard a lot of positive hype in the blogger community about the book. Maybe your best friend told you it is the BEST BOOK EVER. Maybe it won lots of prestigious awards. But you open it up, and you feel…disappointed.
White Fur was that book for me. No, there was no hype around the book. I received the advanced reader copy, so there was no danger of that. Still, when I read the blurb on the back of the book, I got super excited. A book about college-aged kids set in the 1980s? Sign me up! (In case you missed my post on Searching for John Hughes, I am kind of obsessed with all things 1980s).
Then I read the book. At first, hope still hung on. The writing was pretty good, and the beginning of books can be a bit slow. But, oh no, things only got worse. At first I was able to just enjoy the prose, but after a while, that wasn’t enough to keep me reading.
To be honest, the only reason why I finished this book is because I had promised I would review it.
What is the plot? Well, Jamey is a spoiled rich boy that takes people for granted. Elise is a poor girl with a chip on her shoulder. They meet. They fall in love (I am still unclear as to what they see in each other). Elise ruins Jamey’s life. And that is pretty much it.
This could have even worked if I cared about the characters. But I didn’t. Part of the problem is the narrative voice. The third person narrator never seems to delve deep into the characters’ thoughts, and there always seems to be a glass wall between the reader and the characters. I never really felt like I connected with them. Libaire never made them anything more than two-dimensional characters.
I cannot tell you much about the characters other than that they are rich and poor.
And both are really terrible.
I think Libaire’s focus was solely on her beautiful writing. She is a supremely talented prose writer. Her imagery is amazing, and her descriptions made you feel like you were there. The problem is that the most sparkling words cannot make up for a lack of plot and characterization.