Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Sun In Your Eyes: A Novel by Deborah Shapiro

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

A witty and winning new voice comes alive in this infectious road-trip adventure with a rock-and-roll twist. Shapiro’s debut blends the emotional nuance of Elena Ferrante with the potent nostalgia of High Fidelity, in a story of two women—one rich and alluring, the other just another planet in her dazzling orbit—and their fervid and troubled friendship.

From the distance of a few yards, there might be nothing distinctive about Lee Parrish, nothing you could put your finger on, and yet, if she were to walk into a room, you would notice her. And if you were with her, I’d always thought, you could walk into any room.

For quiet, cautious, and restless college freshman Vivian Feld, real life begins the day she moves in with the enigmatic Lee Parrish—daughter of died-too-young troubadour Jesse Parrish and model-turned-fashion designer Linda West—and her audiophile roommate Andy Elliott.

When a one-night stand fractures Lee and Andy’s intimate rapport, Lee turns to Viv, inviting her into her glamorous fly-by-night world: an intoxicating mix of Hollywood directors, ambitious artists, and first-class everything. It is the beginning of a friendship that will inexorably shape both women as they embark on the rocky road to adulthood.

More than a decade later, Viv is married to Andy and hasn’t heard from Lee in three years. Suddenly Lee reappears, begging for a favor: she wants Viv to help her find the lost album Jesse was recording before his death. Holding on to a life-altering secret and ambivalent about her path, Viv allows herself to be pulled into Lee’s world once again. But the chance to rekindle the magic and mystery of their youth might come with a painful lesson: while the sun dazzles us with its warmth and brilliance, it may also blind us from seeing what we really need.

What begins as a familiar story of two girls falling under each other’s spell evolves into an evocative, and at times irrepressibly funny, study of female friendship in all its glorious intensity and heartbreaking complexity.

my thoughts:

I'm a huge fan of stories that explore female friendships.  So, I was really excited to read Deborah Shapiro's novel, The Sun In Your Eyes - a story about two friends, Viv and Lee.  They met freshman year of college, became BFFs and roommates.  Lee was the "alpha" of the duo, while Viv played the dutiful "follower".  Vastly different, the two were the epitome of the old adage "opposites attract".  This is the story of how they fell out with one another and then agreed to go on a road trip after not speaking to each other for a few years.  Talk about a recipe for drama!  I couldn't wait to dive right in.  So I read and read a bit more and then I put the book down. Yep, I wound up DNFing The Sun In Your Eyes.  I just could not get interested in the story.  I didn't like the back of forth between past and present - it disrupted the flow of the story too much.  The characters were too unlikeable - normally, I'm okay with unlikeable, but these two were just too underdeveloped and too stereotypical to even care about what happened to them.  As for the story, well, the part about Lee's father, Jesse (a famous rock star who died too young) was kind of interesting - although it felt a bit flimsy to be the reason for a reunion between the two ex-friends.  Plus, I would rather the whole story just focused on the two friends.  We do learn about their past, but not so much their present.  I think that one flashback explaining their falling out would have sufficed.  Then again, I just didn't find myself all that interested in either character or their story.  It was too predictable - its always about a boy.  However, I must admit I don't know everything that happened since I didn't finish reading the book.  So, who knows what really transpired between Lee, Viv, and Andy.  Either way, I was just not that into the book to find out.  Oh well.  Some books are just not for everyone. 

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Sun In Your Eyes
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!


Lark said...

Oh, no. That's too bad. Sorry this one wasn't better. (I get tired of that present-to-past narrative style in books. Pick a time period, people!)

Nadia said...

Lark, thanks! I'm usually okay with the back and forth, but this one just didn't work. Oh well, on to the next book, right? :)

bermudaonion said...

Sorry to see this didn't work for you because the premise sounds good to me.

Nadia said...

Kathy, thanks. I thought it would work for me based on the premise, but no go. Oh well.

Vintage Reading said...

Interesting premise, sorry it turned out to be a disappointment.

Nadia said...

Vintage Reading, definitely sounded interesting to me, but in the end it was lackluster and I just couldn't keep reading. Oh well.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for your honest review for the tour.

Mae Travels said...

I'm puzzled why you even bothered to promote this book at all. Sounds like it's best forgotten!

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Aw, I hate it when this happens. Too bad.