Reviews

The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai

jim_jam's review

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challenging emotional funny hopeful informative sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

Really really good but you will cry a lot reading this. 

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carolineknowles's review

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5.0

Gorgeous and devastating. Had to take a few minutes to just sit and stare at the ceiling after I finished to let my goosebumps and lightheadedness (no, seriously) subside.

Of all of the books I’ve read this year, this was my favorite ending. The pacing was perfect and the flood of emotions hit me at just the right time.

laurajohnson's review

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5.0

A book that will bring you into what it could have been like through peak AIDS epidemic. Brutally sad, but glad to have listened/read it. Any book that brings you so throughly into a certain perspective and makes you see that point of view/ story is worthwhile in my opinion.

booksbybrady's review

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

5.0

eairwin's review against another edition

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5.0

This book was eye-opening. Beautifully depicted the setting, tightness of the community, and the high-stakes nature of even the simplest actions.
SpoilerI knew this couldn't end the way I wanted it to. But it took me on an emotional rollercoaster to its inevitable conclusion.

katieparker's review

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5.0

I started recommending this to people while only 100 pages in, and can now confidently say that this is one of the best books I’ve read in years.

frogggirl2's review against another edition

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3.0

This is not a bad book by any means but I just failed to connect really with any of the characters. It felt oddly distant to me.

humma_irshad's review against another edition

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

4.0


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lcranke's review against another edition

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emotional sad

5.0

samizimecki's review

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3.0

My only real exposure to the AIDS crisis was through [b:The Heart's Invisible Furies|33253215|The Heart's Invisible Furies|John Boyne|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1490803456l/33253215._SY75_.jpg|51438471] and I felt like that book did a better job than this one. We follow Yale and his group of friends in the 1980's as they tragically try to find a cure or at least figure out how to manage the epidemic going through their community. This storyline was fine, but honestly there were a lot of characters and I didn't really connect to any of them, even Yale, who was the main one. Then we have the alternating one based in present day where the sister of one of the characters in the other story is in France trying to find her daughter that joined a cult. While I understand that Makkai was trying to merge the two stories, I really felt that the cult story line and random hookups were not needed and I was thankful that these chapters were so much shorter.

To me, this story dragged a bit, and the characters weren't anything special. Minus the fact that this book shed light to a chapter of history that doesn't get a lot of exposure, I really think it falls more into the overhyped category. I'll round up to 3 stars because the writing was good, but when it takes 400pages to finally connect to the main character, I don't think it's worth recommending.