Books, Fiction, Reviewing, Sin categoría, Three Star Rating

Review- ‘We need to talk about Kevin’ by Lionel Shriver (Warning- Contains Spoilers!)


What the ‘blurb’ says:

Eva never really wanted to be a mother; certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker and a teacher who tried to befriend him. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood and Kevin’s horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her absent husband, Franklyn. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.

My Thoughts:

Firstly, forgive me if this review is a bit all over the place. It has been more than a week week since I finished reading this novel and I still haven’t been able to exactly pinpoint my thoughts on this! Warning though, this review has spoilers.

The story plot from the point where Eva meets her husband, through to motherhood and finally the present day.

The reasons why I can’t pinpoint whether I enjoyed this novel or not, are varied. Firstly, I wasn’t too keen on the writing style. At times the writing seemed forced and too formal. Considering the fact that the book was supposed to be constructed in an informal letter style, in my opinion each chapter would start almost in letter form and then jump into regular prose. However, I felt like the writing improved during the novel.

Secondly, I didn’t really like the main character Eva. She was cold, selfish and in some ways, just as bad as her son…I think.

At times, this felt wrong to even be reading this book, both main characters were twisted and the subject matter, dark. However, I found some of the psychology highlighted within this novel, fascinating. I also enjoyed the tale unfolding. I’m not much of a fan of slower paced books, but I think that the slow unfolding of events to be effective during this novel. I also liked the twist at the end.

As I said at the beginning of this review, my thoughts on this are messy. ‘We need to talk about Kevin’ isn’t exactly the most enjoyable book I’ve read this year, but it’s the most interesting and thought provoking.

My Rating ***

I would love to know if anyone else who has read this book,  felt as conflicted when they read this book as I do.


4 thoughts on “Review- ‘We need to talk about Kevin’ by Lionel Shriver (Warning- Contains Spoilers!)”

  1. I haven’t read this book yet and I think one of the reasons that I keep putting it off is because the characters seem unlikable just from the blurb. Glad you mentioned that the psychology was interesting though because that makes me want to read it a little more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. They aren’t exactly likeable, but I don’t think all characters have to be completely likeable, in order to be good characters. What do you think? If you decide to read this book, I look forward to reading your thoughts on it.Thanks for stopping by!


  3. This is one of those books I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t gotten round to yet. I have seen the movie version of it however (I didn’t realise it was a book at the time unfortunately!) and I can say that the movie left me feeling much the same way as you’re describing.

    I didn’t necessarily like or dislike it, I just felt like it didn’t really touch me the way it needed to. I should have felt anger or despair by the end of it but in the end I just felt strangely distant.

    I think that was mostly because Eva struck me as a very self-centred, unlikeable character as well and while I don’t mind that as a storytelling device, in the context of this story it made it very hard to sympathize with her and everything she goes through… given some of the horrible events that happen that was a problem and I felt like I should have cared more.

    I did also enjoy the philosophical and psychological questions it raised though, particularly about the nature of evil, and I can imagine how that would have been very interesting in the novel.

    I’ll definitely have to check out the novel at some stage. Be interesting to see how similar or different it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. No, I couldn’t feel sorry for Eva, even though in those circumstances, you would think that sympathy would be the only emotion you would feel like a character who has been through the things she has. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels like this!

    I’m not sure if I want to see the film version, because I’m not sure how a filmmaker could convey the narration using film and also whether the atmosphere would come across on screen.

    Thanks for stopping by!


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