At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school soccer team while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her housekeeping job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers - one they are determined to conceal.
A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years in college, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. Then, as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.
I really struggled with this book. I wanted to like it but just couldn't find what other people seemed to love about it.
One thing I will say is that Rooney is an excellent writer. She immerses you in the story and even though I wasn't enjoying it, I still wanted to finish it and read the book super quickly. So my problem wasn't the writing but it was more around the story itself and some of the characters.
I found Marianne super annoying. I just found she lacked a lot of depth and I couldn't connect with her at all. Connell was a slightly more developed character and seemed to have a bit more substance, but in comparison to other books, I just felt disappointed with these 2 personalities as main characters.
Then there is the story itself, I found it too depressing. It does highlight important issues that people go through, especially when starting university and trying to discover who you are. But I felt this was just over the top and I felt pretty shit once I finished the book. There was no real resolution at the end and I was extremely underwhelmed from the whole thing.
I wouldn't usually go for the happy ending lovey-dovey romance and I like books that are realistic and don't sugarcoat these things but this was just on a whole other level for me and I found that the further into the book I went, the more depressed I got.
So yeah...not in my top 5 but I do think Rooney has a lot of talent and I will read Conversations With Friends and hope I enjoy it more.
IN 3 WORDS/PHRASES:
'There’s always been something inside her that men have wanted to dominate, and their desire for domination can look so much like attraction, even love.'
None, I didn't really connect with any of the characters.