Book Review: This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

6224935 I found this book on one of those lists of “Books you need to Read before the Film”. It looked vaguely interesting so I got on the holds list at the library and waited. The plot seemed semi-interesting, although complicated – Judd Foxman’s father just died and he is heading home to sit shiva with his 2 brothers and sister. Meanwhile, he’s also dealing with his ex-wife who cheated on him with his boss and just announced that she’s pregnant.

Unsurprisingly, as the 7 days of shiva passes, the drama gets higher and higher between all of the players. The siblings are all coupled up and bring their own issues, both past and current. Judd in particular is trying to deal with his life pretty much falling apart around him.

I just didn’t like most of this book. Almost every character in it seemed to fit into a nice little Hollywood box – as if the author was writing it specifically to get it optioned for a film. One of Judd’s sisters-in-law is so desperate to get pregnant that she literally decided to jump Judd at one point because his sperm is “interchangeable” with his brothers. He has a kooky mother who is very in touch with emotions, a stressed out sister whose husband is too into his job – they all fit into nice little boxes. Everyone seems to reveal their true emotions at just the right moment in a nice and neat (yet kind of messy) way.

There was also extensive descriptions that were all looking down the author’s nose at people. How dare people be old and have wrinkles, or be overweight? I thought at first this was just me grabbing at certain things but no this was repetitive and unnecessary for the story.

This is one book that I should have skipped and went straight to the movie. Justin Bateman, Tina Fey and Dax Shephard – all of whom I love star in it so I’ll give it a chance and see if they can inject some heart into it because the book was severely lacking in that area.

2 Stars

~Melinda

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

  1. Thanks for the review–I think I’ll take your advice and see the film instead. I wonder what it is that causes books to sound like a movie and not be a good book, versus The Rosie Project that was co-created with Hollywood, reads like a movie, and turns out to be a good book? Oh well, one less thing to add to my TBR pile.

    • That’s a great point. I know for this book there just wasn’t any heart and it didn’t strike me as funny at all. I can’t even imagine reading this book and thinking oh this would be a great movie. Whereas yes The Rosie Project turned out to be a very good book, regardless of Hollywood involvement. Maybe the key is the author and the quality of writing?

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