8. Jennifer Egan – A Visit From the Goon Squad

I go to school in Connecticut, so due to winter storm Juno, I had a snow day this past Tuesday. If I were a good student, I could have spent the day doing all my homework for classes, but of course I felt like being lazy. I decided to read a book so that I wouldn’t be completely lazy, because in my opinion, reading is at least a little bit productive (more so than watching Netflix all day, at least).

I chose A Visit from the Goon Squad off my bookshelf, because I figured a YA book would be a nice, easy read that I could probably get through most of on my day off. I ended up reading about half of the book on Tuesday, and then another large chunk on Wednesday, and I just finished it up last night.

Jennifer Egan - A Visit from the Goon Squad (photo taken by me)
Jennifer Egan – A Visit from the Goon Squad (photo taken by me)

I did not like this book. It’s not often that I don’t like a book, but this one just didn’t do it for me. In the beginning of the book, I was confused, because each chapter focuses on a different character, but there was little explanation to that, which just left me to figure it out.

At first, I was thinking, like most books that switch between points of view from chapter to chapter, that it would go between like two or three characters. So after I got to about the fifth chapter and realized that every single chapter of the book focused on a different character (that was somehow related to someone else in the book), I was kind of annoyed. I wish I had known going in that it would be a completely different story in each chapter.

One thing that really rubbed me the wrong way in the book was the final chapter. I think that that chapter is supposed to take place in the future, but the terminology used is so, so corny. Egan includes the characters “T-ing” (a.k.a. texting) each other, and the way they type reminds me of how everyone texted in middle school, only a hundred times worse. Here’s an example: “no 1 nOs abt me. Im invysbl.” That lingo really annoyed me while I was reading it.

Aside from the changing main character with each chapter, another reason I didn’t like this book was that it never fully engaged me. I never particularly liked this book or got really into it, so I had no interest in reading it.

This book was a chore for me to finish, but I’m glad I’m done with it now, so I can move on to a (hopefully) better book.