I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Stella Krakus is having a bad week. Her almost-ex-husband is basically stalking her, her glamorous-yet-overbearing mother wants to meet for lunch, and her boss/lover is breaking up their romance as gently as his narcissism will let him. On top of it all, her colleague Paul has gone missing. But he’s left behind a map that piques Stella’s interest. As she researches into its origins, a mystery opens itself that promises to reveal secrets Stella never dreamed of.
Unfortunately, making promises is all this book can do. Actually delivering on them is a bit too much to ask. I wanted to like Impossible Views of the World, I really did. I loved the sound of the blurb, it made it sound like a funny and interesting mystery and I was excited to read it. But it was none of these things.
The first thing I noticed about the book was the writing style. It’s difficult, I won’t lie, it is in no way easy to read. I would consider myself a smart person with a pretty good vocabulary, but I struggled with a lot of the words used. It reminded me of the episode of Friends where Joey uses the thesaurus for every word when writing the letter for Chandler and Monica.
I know that Lucy Ives is also a poet, and that definitely comes through in her language and writing style. I’m not personally a fan of poetry so maybe that’s why the style didn’t work for me. It was all just a little pretentious and unnecessary for me, but maybe it’s more of a personal preference. If you like the more poetic style of writing, maybe you won’t mind as much.
As well as the language, the plot itself was quite difficult to follow. If you thought my description at the beginning was a little vague that’s because I’m still not sure what the book was about even after finishing it. Stella is a curator at the Central Museum of Art in New York, so a lot of the plot centred around the art scene. I don’t know much about art so maybe if you have more of an interest in it you’ll be able to follow everything a bit more, but for me it was just confusing.
There was a lot of times I found myself having to re-read a line or a paragraph to try to understand what was going on, but after a while I gave up re-reading because I just wanted to finish the book, I was getting a bit sick of the amount of effort I had to put in just to figure out what the book was about.
Stella herself wasn’t a particularly likeable character either and I found myself getting annoyed at her a lot of the time. She reminded me of Carrie Bradshaw at times as she was very airy-fairy and didn’t seem to have much of a grasp on the real world. She never seemed to actually do any work relating to her job, rather she just obsessed over the map left by Paul (I can’t even say why she was so obsessed over it, either, because I don’t know why myself). I thought that the writer was trying too hard to make her seem quirky and unusual, which goes back to my dislike of the writing style in a way, so maybe others would be fine with it. But it wasn’t for me.
I was disappointed with Impossible Views of the World. I had high hopes for it as a funny mystery but it let me down. I never laughed and the mystery of the map was too confusing for me to care. I know that a lot of the problems I had were personal preference, so maybe this books would suit someone else. I wouldn’t say definitely don’t read this, but if you think your book preferences are similar to mine then it’s safe to say you won’t enjoy it.