I think we live in a time where we have to pretend to love every book we read because it's 'uncool' to dislike popular books. Maybe I'm the odd one out, but I really hated Extremely Close & Incredibly Loud.
It follows a nine-year-old boy named Oskar who discovers a key which belonged to his father, who died in the September 11 attacks. He becomes obsessed with discovering what it unlocks.
The writing style of this book was so exhausting and made it a chore to read.
Oskar is the book's protagonist and narrator - and he is irritating. Writing from a child's perspective can be interesting and fun, but I found Oskar infuriating. Maybe the author, Jonathan Safran Foer, didn't want us to like Oskar. If so, he succeeded, but it made finishing this novel difficult. Imagine taking an eight hour flight sat next to a clever, manipulative, overly-emotional nine-year-old who says everything going on in his head. That's what reading this book is like.
All that being said there are some really emotionally vibrant moments in the book. Despite his flaws as a narrator, Oskar is an empathetic child whose willingness to trust and listen does warm the heart.
This book is not for readers looking for an intricate plot with a beginning, middle and end. It's the embodiment of the phrase 'It's the journey, not the destination, that matters'.
This book has 3.97 stars on Good Reads.
You can buy a copy of the novel here or watch the film starring Tom Hanks.