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Although I really felt that I could relate to the main character, the straightforward way the book was written really distracted me from the story. To me, it felt like I was hearing it back through a very young observant child. I loved getting to see firsthand how the character dealt with difficult life struggles and making decisions, but I think I honestly also sort of felt that she did not approach them in a very mature way. I seem to be in the minority here, but it just seems like the way the book was written in almost a stream of consciousness format did not appeal to me.
This was my second BOTM, but I would still say you picked a good one to start with! I enjoyed the book as well aside from trying to keep all of the characters straight. I do enjoy books written with different character perspectives, but I just felt this one included the perspective of a few too many characters. But, it was definitely thrilling and always kept you guessing about who did what, all the way up until the last page.
With "Since We Fell" being my first official Book of the Month book, I have to say that I was very satisfied overall. I personally felt it was very easy to relate to Rachel, despite the fact that I did not grow up with a single mother and have never experienced panic attacks myself. As a few others have mentioned, the only aspects of the book that confused me a bit were the quick plot switches with the book focusing on the mystery of her father and then changing over to everything centering around Brian. Perhaps the author intended this book to actually be two books at one point in time? Either way, the consistency of Rachel herself throughout the book made sense and I found myself getting sucked back in every time I picked it up to read. There was always some issue that Rachel was freaking out over and somehow that kept my attention, wanting to know what would happen next. Did anyone else feel like there were a few moments where plot twists happened so quickly and unexpectedly that they had to go back and read over things to figure out what was actually happening?
I agree with your comment. The only character in the book that I truly felt sorry for was probably the twins' mother since she was depending on the money to use for her daughters' college fund. It's scary to think how many parents out there never bother to set aside money for college--the reality is it is not subsidized in this country and probably never will be, so even if your child receives scholarships, they will never be enough to cover college 100%.
I think it is a wise financial decision to establish a trust or some other type of inheritance. However, I don't think a parent should hold that over their children's heads (i.e., let them actually know about it). Both of my grandparents on my father's side passed away at a young age and had a very healthy trust established due to their many assets acquired over the years. I don't believe that the children actually knew about this and of course they were not expecting their parents to pass away at such a young age where they would actually have access to it. However, my family still uses the income from the trust to pay for monthly expenses that we would otherwise have to pay out of pocket. It's not enough money for any one person in the family to live off of, but it's nice to know that some money is there in case of an emergency or unexpected expense.
I never really understood all of the "buzz" surrounding The Nest. I suppose it mainly has to do with the fact that it depicts a dysfunctional family and readers are able to easily relate to that? For me, it just seemed like the book told the story of a character who royally screws over his family and can't seem to stop screwing up, no matter how much help he is undeservedly given. A few of the characters were intriguing to me, but I guess I just felt like there was no real "wow" moment.