How to Buy a Love of Reading

How to Buy a Love of Reading - Tanya Egan Gibson When Carley Wells's English teacher asks which is her favourite book, she answers "Never met one I liked", inspiring her parents, part of the Fox Glen potlach set, with the perfect way to celebrate Carley's sweet sixteen. They will buy her a love of reading, hiring an author to write a book to her specifications. A book she just has to love.Carley allows the farce to go on because she thinks it's the one way she can hold onto her best friend, Hunter Kay, a bibliophile, aspiring writer and teenage alcoholic, who is slipping away from her.I thought the premise of this book was intriguing, and as I continue to talk about it who coworkers and customers, I find everyone reacts to the concept, usually positively.I found the opening satirically entertaining. The absurdity of the competition and the conspicuous consumption that obsess the parents in Fox Glen made me very sympathetic to the teenagers caught in the crossfire.The trouble was, as I got to know those teens, I found that I had less and less empathy for them. Perhaps it's that I'm too old now to remember the teenage sense of the future being so far away. I found I wanted to shake them until they woke up and looked at the world around them.Given the number of references to F. Scott Fitzgerald, I have a feeling I might have read How to Buy a Love of Reading differently if I had more familiarity with his work. Hunter, for instance, seems doomed to be a clichéd version of the Lost Generation. Carley's continued obsession with him eventually started to grate on me.By the time we reached the climax of the novel, I found I just didn't care.In looking through other reviews, as I tend to do when I wonder if a reaction is just me, I find that many readers had the opposite experience of mine, not liking the characters at first, but growing to care for them as the book went on.As readers, none of us want the same things from our reading experiences; it would be a very boring literary world if we did. I did not find mine in How to Buy a Love of Reading, but I'd love to hear from those who did.This review also appears at Boxes of Paper