Maybe it wasn’t that her flaws were balanced out by the good. Maybe it was that the flaws were merely one side of a two-sided coin. What made a person good also made a person bad. Confidence could easily become arrogance. A sense of humor was only ever a few rungs away from cruelty.
I happened to read some reviews about this book prior to picking it up and I do agree that this is a book about first world problems, problems that come as a result of privilege. But I also felt like this book had more to offer than that.
Our story switches between Julia and Evan each chapter and we get to see the rise and demise of their relationship as they meet in college and then graduate and venture out into the real world. Evan comes from a small town in Canada and grew up in relative simplicity. His parents work hard to make ends meet and do their best. Evan wants out and he wants to make something of himself. Julia comes from wealth and with that comes security. She has the option to fail or not succeed because she has money at the ready should she need it. Julia clearly has no idea what she wants or how to go about figuring that out.
Julia is quite self centered and that is difficult to deal with for much of the book and they both make some bad choices in their relationship. This book rings true to the idea of what people believe about millennials and their choices and desires in life, which can be a pretty unfair shake. They are portrayed as naïve, power hungry, discontent children who don’t know how to appreciate what they have. Sure there are aspects of that in any generation but this one gets a particularly bad rep for the idea that everything that doesn’t spark “passion” and “joy” is disposable. Nevertheless, Julia and Evan felt real to me. Like people I would know or interact with. It is a very intimate look at two flawed people and that part made it worth the read for me.
I knew where the book was heading about halfway through and I was right in how it all shook out but it didn’t make the journey any less enjoyable. This is a great read if you want something with a little substance that won’t push you too hard.