Year of Mistaken Discoveries by Eileen Cook

Goodreads Summary18051087
Simon Pulse | Hardcover, 272 pages
February 25th, 2014
Young Adult | Contemporary Romance
Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars

Apathy sucks.

Have you ever read a book that you felt absolutely nothing about? It was as if I was reading a textbook, but reading a textbook would’ve been better because at least then, I was learning something as I go along. This book, unfortunately, is only good for one thing: it’s meant to boost your reading goal number for the year. It was a fast read that hardly appealed to my empathy, with a plot line that held so much promise, but sadly disappointed.

As many childhood friendships go, Avery’s and Nora’s fizzled as they grew further apart. Years later, and while Avery flitted in the spotlight of the high school social caste system, Nora remained in the periphery of her glow. Neither girls minded the widening distance; after all, they share a common bond as they were both adopted, and once upon a time also shared the dream of finding their respective biological parents. As Avery’s adopted family raise her in a relatively happy home, she lost interest in it altogether. But Nora remained in pursuit until a lead resulted in heartbreak.

Nora committed suicide.

She left Avery a notebook that held an account of how to find her mother; guilt-ridden, Avery proceeds to venture on her own quest with a purpose of honouring her death. With the help of Nora’s friend, Brody, they set out to trace the mother that gave her up for adoption. But what started out as a way to honour Nora’s memory quickly morphed into a selfish agenda of a means to get into her dream college.

There wasn’t much you can walk away from reading this book, and for a story involving suicide, the writing was emotionally ineffective. It’s really hard to like a book if the main character failed to garner the reader’s empathy, and this is the biggest fault of this book. Avery lacked any believable emotions, and if she did show any, it felt much too contrived. Nora showed more depth in the very little time she was in the novel than Avery did the entire book. And as far as romance goes, sorry, there wasn’t much of that either.

Overall, Year of Mistaken Discoveries is a book you can do without. No depth, no emotions. You’ll be better off reading your friend’s status updates on Facebook.

  • It seems like it would almost take work to write a book that deals with suicide and leave the reader feeling nothing. What a shame!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  • Alise (Readers in Wonderland)

    YES. I just finished a book exactly like that, felt total indifference to it. Those are the worst reads. Needless to say I will be avoiding this one, I don’t need any more books like this, ha! Great review though!

  • Oh I know exactly what you mean about the lack of empathy. When that happens, I just can’t enjoy a book. I definitely won’t be picking this up! And I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this, hope your next read is better 🙂

  • “You’ll be better off reading your friend’s status updates on Facebook.” Ouch. Lol. I guess I won’t be picking this one up after all. Despite the “tough” subject, I’m really surprised that you couldn’t connect to the story. Sucks. Hope you get to read a better one soon! 😀

  • I love that last line in your review! And yes, apathy does suck. For a book that deals with such emotional issues like suicide, it says a lot that you couldn’t even emphasize with the characters because they just simply leave you cold. I think I’m skipping this one, I’m ahead of my reading goals anyway so I don’t need to add it on my statistic. Great, honest review Joy! 🙂

  • Thanks for the heads up. Books like these do boost your yearly reading goal, but if it does nothing to your soul, then skipping it is the way to go. I wish the author did something else to make her readers empathize more on her characters. The plot sounded good, but the story failed to deliver.

  • Bethzaida (bookittyblog)

    Boo! I loved one book by this author. I was pretty excited about this one but now I don’t even know if I want to read it. It sounds so good! Why did it go so wrong? Great review, Joy.

  • Christy

    “You’ll be better off reading your friend’s status updates on Facebook.”

    LOL – I don’t know about that, some of my friends are idiots. Then again, I’m an asshole, so …

    Anyway, that really sucks to hear this book bombs. I liked one of Eileen’s other books, but didn’t have this one on my radar. No loss, I guess.

  • I love your review. It is not often that a blogger goes all out and says exactly what they think. Maybe with books they all like. But when they don’t? Everybody is always trying to sugar coat things, afraid of hurting the author’s feelings. I know I am. Which is why I find your review so amazing. You said exactly what you were thinking in a beautiful way. You go gurl!

  • Woah, the author must have really missed the mark to have made a book about suicide non-emotional. Thanks for the honest review, Joy!

  • It’s sad that despite this topic you don’t have any emotions, because well it’s in something like that we need this kind of things. I didn’t know this one but I have a book by her in French, I need to try it one day. But it’s something light, not like that.

  • Yikes! Sorry to hear it was so blah 🙁

  • Oh my, I’m sorry you didn’t like this one! I’ve never even heard of it, but I’ll keep on passing by it. I need an emotional pull, even a minor one, in order to really enjoy a book, so to have a book that involves suicide yet that can’t even get you to care is just not my cup of tea. At least it is one more book on the read list!

  • Alright seriously this sounds terrible. Luckily its not one that ever would have hit my radar. *staying far away* The character sounds pretty self centered.

  • Aw. I am so so sorry Joy. This book sounds awful, lol. I’m sorry you didn’t like it. It always sucks when you can’t connect to the main character : And agh. Little romance? Sad face. Cover makes me think the romance will be good. Hmm. LIES, lol. I will not read this book. But thank you for being honest and sharing. <3

  • Ugg, I can’t handle books like this one, I will definitely be passing on this.

    Thanks for the honest review!

  • ugh I’m sorry that this book didn’t work out for you Joy, I’ve read a book by Cook before, but definitely had a much better run with it than this book. I too usually want some sort of connection with my characters, or want them to evoke some sort of emotions from me. With this not here, I would certainly be bummed too. Thank you for your honest review, I hope your next book is a lot more enjoyable! 🙂