A review by mmccombs
Betty, by Tiffany McDaniel

dark emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character


I normally love books that hurt me but… something didn’t land for me with this one. Every single chapter seemed to house a new horror that Betty had to witness or experience, and I guess I can’t say too much because this is based off of real life, but it was just brutal. And it was brutal in a way oftentimes smothered what light and love did exist in the story. I never felt like I understood Betty as a person outside of the tragedy that was her life (and mostly she was just recording traumatic events that happened to her family members, so I thought it was weird that she was the narrator, the emotional weight just wasn’t quite there ever??). Landon was the most interesting and well rounded character, and even then sometimes he just felt like a caricature of a person (and like… did he know and not do anything about it?? Could that have been investigated a bit deeper??). I didn’t understand the newspaper clippings/the final reveal at the end, it took up a lot of space for very little pay off. The writing was beautiful and I loved what this book had to say about storytelling, but I’m unsure if this was worth the read.

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