Reviews

How Beautiful We Were, by Imbolo Mbue

rapturousreader's review against another edition

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2.0

This novel is set in the fictional African Village of Kosawa, and tells of villagers living in fear due to the environmental degradation and loss of life caused by a greedy American oil company. The people decide to take a stand for justice, which has disastrous results.

The story is told from the perspective of a generation of family and centers around a girl named Thula, who grows up to become a revolutionary.

The novel had a strong premise, I enjoyed the first 15%, then It fizzled out. The author spent too much time describing what the characters were thinking and remembering. I wanted more about what the characters were doing. I also found the author’s writing style difficult to follow. For example, I became frustrated when the author stopped in the middle of a dialogue between characters to describe a memory which was over 5 pages.

This would have been a DNF, but I wanted to finish since I received the free ARC.
I would only recommend this novel to those who have really enjoyed the author’s previous novels and writing style, or those who have an outside interest in the plot. Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

rapturousreader's review

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2.0

This novel is set in the fictional African Village of Kosawa, and tells of villagers living in fear due to the environmental degradation and loss of life caused by a greedy American oil company. The people decide to take a stand for justice, which has disastrous results.

The story is told from the perspective of a generation of family and centers around a girl named Thula, who grows up to become a revolutionary.

The novel had a strong premise. I enjoyed the first 15%, then It fizzled out. The author spent too much time describing what the characters were thinking and remembering. I wanted more about what the characters were doing. I also found the author’s writing style difficult to follow. For example, I became frustrated when the author stopped in the middle of a dialogue between characters to describe a memory, but didn't return to the earlier dialogue.

This would have been a DNF, but I wanted to finish since I received the free ARC. I would only recommend this novel to those who have really enjoyed the author’s previous novels and writing style, or those who have an outside interest in the plot.

Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

janavastiau's review against another edition

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challenging emotional hopeful inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.25

journeyingjo's review against another edition

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emotional reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

kcarp's review against another edition

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challenging dark slow-paced

4.25

mimi_means_secret's review against another edition

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challenging dark reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

ccvick's review against another edition

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Did not draw me in enough at the beginning.

thfishie's review against another edition

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medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

5.0

rianneeleonore's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging emotional inspiring reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

rachelreads15's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0