Book Review: The Circle by Dave Eggers

Book Rating

2/5

Book Review

UGH. WHYYY!? This book has such great ideas. I’m writing this whining, literally whining. I want you to imagine my words drawn out and said in some dramatic tone because I’m. So. Mad. Right. Nowwww.

I started it with gusto! Yaaas, Dave Eggers, tell us more about The Circle. I’m absolutely INTRIGUED with it. This place sounds like an awesome place to work. I mean, they pay medical bills, they track you, they have parties for their employees, you get free stuff that isn’t even out yet, and they have nap rooms for goodness sake. Can you say dream boat job!?

*Cue creepy trailer song* “They’re watching you….”

Meet Mae. Mae is a relatively normal girl who loves to kayak and has a dad who suffers from MS. Annie, her friend, gets Mae a starting position at The Circle, to get away from her soul-sucking desk job. Mae is in awe at all that The Circle has to offer her, as any normal human would be.

It’s clear from the get-go that Mae is obsessed with validation. I mean, obsessed. She’s got some serious problems, and I would have ended up absolutely despising her, but there isn’t enough to her to fully despise her… she is so two dimensional. She would take great offense to what I just said, though. Anyone who slightly disagreed with her, or provided constructive criticism, or anything besides endless praise, made Mae seriously butt-hurt (sorry, literally no other way to put it). GAH. And she was so selfish, envious, obnoxious. I see no redeeming qualities. In some books the narrator is horrible but you like them, you’re hearing their story, their side, understanding them as you go. Nope. This one is just hate.

I still don’t understand half of her actions because I didn’t really get to know her. I felt that the whole book she went along with whatever seemed like it would get her in less trouble at her job? I still don’t fully understand most of her actions besides the fact she is constantly seeking validation.

Also, her choice in lovers is absolutely, completely baffling. BAFFLING. My actual reaction to most of her choices throughout the book:

Like, Mae….why? But ok. Whatever floats your kayak. (That’s a joke. Because Mae likes to kayak…it’s funny, just laugh.)

The most annoying thing is that I still really like what this book made me think of and where my mind went while reading it. Seeking validation from thousands, millions, billions of strangers online… why do we do it? When we are doing it, are we forgetting to live life? Mae becomes so obsessed with her online world and presence that she forgets about her real life. Her real life is falling apart around her, replaced by people sending her “smiles” online. Is validation from strangers nearly the same as living your real life? As having a bit of privacy? As having an intimate moment between friends that isn’t broadcasted online? (I wonder all this, as I’m writing this blog post and seeking online validation…”like” my post…please “like” it! Haha.) THIS IDEA IS AWESOME. SUCH POTENTIAL HERE.

So, I give this book 2 stars for the awesome ideas in it. Dave Eggers has a great imagination, I absolutely love it. But the execution…I seriously wanted to love it, but I still can’t even figure out what the plot really is. There were no twists and turns. There was hardly a storyline. Mae didn’t have any character development–she sucked the whole time and ended the book sucking. When there was a moment that she could have somewhat remedied herself, she totally messed it up. She frustrated me to no end.

Anyway, I had to finish this before I watched the movie. So, now I want to watch the movie and see if it’s any better. Will this be the case of the movie being better than the book!? Stay tuned….

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