Reviews

Father's Day by Simon Van Booy

machadofam8's review

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4.0

Is was really lovely. I enjoyed the style of writing and the story was rich and full.

chefd's review

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4.0

Slow burner but worth it.

missdandyreads's review against another edition

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5.0

Ein ungewöhnliches, einfühlsames Buch mit überraschender Wende, dass den Leser trotz der leisen und lauten Töne schmunzeln lässt. Klare Leseempfehlung!

findyourgoldenhour's review

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5.0

Oh, this book. I loved it. I was worried I'd be disappointed since I liked The Illusion of Separateness so much, but I may have loved this one more. The tone reminded me of The Assembler of Parts by Raoul Wienitzen, which is one of my favorites. I heard Van Booy interviewed on Diane Rehm years ago, and it was such a moving interview that I've never forgot it. He lost his young wife when their daughter was just 3 years old, and he has since remarried; it because I knew his background that this novel struck me as especially poignant. It is so heartbreakingly tender, I don't even care that some willing suspension of disbelief is required.

thebeardedpoet's review against another edition

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5.0

A father-daughter story which held me entranced throughout. One of those rare books which got me laughing out loud from the amusing dialogue and irony. I highly recommend it.

cheryl1213's review

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2.0

Aside from a few "flashback"-like moments, this book is generally told in two parts that are interspersed throughout the novel. The earlier time period involves the aftermath of Harvey's parents dying. A social worker decides to seek out the young girl's estranged uncle, a man with a history of violence and alcohol abuse who has been living a very solitary existence. We watch the two learn to be family and we also see them many years later when Harvey is living in Paris. This second time period involves Harvey anticipating her uncle's (whom she now calls her father) arrival and his visit. The pair have come to love each other deeply and the visit includes several meaningful Father's Day gifts but Harvey is also a bit nervous because she intends to discuss a secret she's learned about their past.

This novel (received free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review) fell a bit flat for me. I like the idea behind it, but I never really felt compelled to dive into the story. The characters had their faults (well, at least the uncle did), but it still didn't feel like a fully rounded story and I never really believed in either protagonist. I felt like I was supposed to feel a whole lot more than I actually did. I don't mean to say it was a bad book, more kinda "meh."

That all said, it was an easy read of the sort that might fit a commuter looking for a simple book to pass the time. Two (labeled "it was ok" on at least one review site) to two-and-a-half stars.

estravatuan's review

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dark emotional hopeful inspiring reflective relaxing slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

this book is like a warm hug and a gut punch at the same time. highly recommend if you want to shed a tear and either feel gratitude for your parents or wished they were a bit better at their parental duties. 
during some moments i felt as though the book dragged on and wished it would cut the storytelling and get to the point but i believe this book is written for people who like to get immersed in emotional and atmospheric stories rather than for people like me who enjoy when the point is delivered in a timely manner without ebbs and flows between emotional standpoints and flashbacks and revisits of moments and thoughts. 

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shelfimprovement's review against another edition

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2.0

Everything Beautiful Began After was one of the most affecting books I read in 2011. I was in a weird place in my life when I stumbled across it and picked it up based solely on the title. It hit all the right nerves inside my body in the right way and I truly connected to it. It didn’t hurt that Simon Van Booy knew how to do flowery prose in an effective and not overly syrupy way.

Sooooo, I picked up this ARC off of Edelweiss based solely on the fact that I loved that first book so much.

I wanna start by saying that you shouldn’t read the marketing copy for this book because it kind of killed most of the suspense for me. I didn’t even look at the marketing copy until I was maybe 30 pages in and was really disappointed that I had. It gave away a plot point that I suspect van Booy wanted to be a little more of a surprise.

This book is about a young girl, Harvey, who grows up, moves to Paris, and prepares for a special visit on Father’s Day. The narrative bounces back and forth, exploring Harvey’s difficult childhood as present-day Father’s Day nears and Harvey plans a few surprises of her own.

This is meant to be a touching examination of what it means to be a father, as well as a rumination on topics such as forgiveness and second chances. But, for me, it was one giant cliché after another after another. The characters felt so very cookie-cutter, the situation they were in felt so overdone, and the writing itself didn’t sparkle the way I’d expect Simon Van Booy prose to sparkle. Reading this book was a bit of a drag, and I found myself disappointed, struggling to keep going. My interest honestly petered out about 2/3 of the way through the e-galley. Sorry, Simon.

rcollins1701's review against another edition

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4.0

Have you ever felt your heart swell in your chest until it bursts and then have the ensuing dark flame of sorrow slowly cremate you from the inside out? If you have, have you then ever thought to yourself, 'Gosh, that was fun. Let's do it again!" If you haven't, you should read Father's Day. Then you'll understand.

iprobablywontlikeit's review against another edition

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Why are so many great premises wasted with poor execution? A girl raised by the rough-and-tumble uncle her mother didn't even want mentioned in her house? Yes please. Think of the conflict. Think of the coming-of-age drama.

But no. We're going to use two-dimensional characters. We're going to use dry prose with short, choppy sentences. And most egregious of all, we're going to make it boring.