The Casual Vacancy, by J.K. Rowling - my review

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Overview (via Goodreads):


When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty fa├žade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils ... Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations.

Product details (via Goodreads):
503 pages
ISBN: 0316228532 (ISBN13: 9780316228534)
Edition language: English
Original title: The Casual Vacancy 
Litetary awards: Goodreads Choice Award for Best Fiction (2012)

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My opinion:
I've heard different opinions about this book, and for different reasons.
Of course you can't expect that this book is something like the Harry Potter sequel, but I guess some of us did. They can't be blamed, since we've grown up reading Harry Potter.
I tried to keep an open mind. I knew this book would be different, so I couldn't take the risk of making comparisons. To be honest, most of the times I forgot I was reading a book by J.K Rowling. I got used to her writing and fantasy stories with her previous books.

She is a great writer, and I think most people will agree with me, either they like this new book or not. She gives the right details, she can develop a story, she can built the characters really well.

I didn't love the book, but I didn't hate it. I don't think it's a light reading, specially because you have lots of characters and a main plot with several different stories that connect with the main plot, and sometimes it was a bit confusing, specially in the beginning, when I didn't connect the names of the characters with their roles in the story.

It was an interesting story, but sometimes I would force myself to keep reading instead of jumping to the next chapter. I guess the chapters I liked the most are the ones with the characters I like the most.

I admit I read it because I was carried away by the general curiosity. I'm not disappointed, since I tried no to create any expectations after the opinions I heard and read about this book. I think that if I was expecting something like Harry Potter I wouldn't be able to finish this book. When people say that it's totally different... well, it really is; not a since line of fantasy and/or magical world. 

Not a "must read", in my opinion. If you like the way she writes and you don't mind reading about something totally different from a fantasy, magical world with characters that we knew for so long, I can recommend this to you. Not a bad reading after all. But if you think that J.K. Rowling will lose her magic with a "real story" style, with crude language, drugs, schemes and political issues, love and betrayal... well, I don't think it's a good idea if you try to read this.

I guess I could give it only two stars in my rating, but the way she writes and some parts of the plot made it interesting. Sometimes I would enjoy the story, but other times it would get really boring. It was hard to write this review... I didn't know what to think when I finished reading the book. 

I chose three stars because of her solid writing, the way the she develops the story, with the different characters and different lives, and the way she builds each character. I'm not excited about this book, but I don't hate it. I'm somewhat happy I finished reading this and I can read something different, even if I had a nice time reading it most of the time.

My rating:

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