Silver Linings Playbook.
Otherwise known as the book I started two days ago and completely devoured because I couldn’t put it away even for a second (trust me, I tried, but I was still poking it with my fingers, or stroking the cover like Smeagol in Lord of the Rings).
I’d seen the film first, mostly because I am a big Jennifer Lawrence fan, and I had heard really good things about it. The movie absolutely destroyed me. Though I do not have the same mental issues as Pat does, I most certainly do have mental issues of my own. Having Social Anxiety Disorder is in no way similar to what Pat was dealing with, but it made me connect all that easier to the character. That being said, he was someone that I found very easy to relate too — mental problems or not.
The story is written in such a way that it paints a very vivid image of what is going on. You don’t need a lot to have your mind create a very clear image of exactly what Pat is telling you, and I thought that was brilliant. It is a way of writing in such simple and clear terms that brings out the most for me as a reader. I can certainly enjoy some big, messy, complicated worded story (because it makes me feel smart for understanding it…), but the casual worded stories will always be my favourite.
Character wise, I’ve already touched on this a little before, but Pat I thought was absolutely brilliant. The way he chased after his silver lining in such a way that the people around him wouldn’t understand — it’s very admirable. And even though you automatically feel a sense of annoyance every single time he brings up Nikki and his desired reconciliation with her, you somehow understand exactly what he’s talking about. Yes, there is a chance for a restored marriage. Totally, I would see the silver lining in this situation too. Absolutely, changing the behaviour she hated the most is definitely very admirable, kudos to you, Pat. I ended up rooting for him, despite knowing exactly what had happened in the film (and assuming that the book and the film ending were the same) and that is all sorts of special. I knew in the back of my head that I was rooting for something that wasn’t going to happen, but I wanted him to have a good ending. I wanted him to have his silver lining.
Tiffany was my absolute favourite. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a book character be so blunt ever before. Tiffany reminded me of a lot of people around me, not specifically one individual, but a combination of a lot of people I’ve known throughout the years. I love how strong she was and how she basically just made ‘heat of the moment’ decisions and then would take her time taking a completely different decision the next day. She kind of hopped from one side to the other and really gripped my attention from the very beginning. She’s blunt and that is one of the things that I can really appreciate in characters. Bluntness might not be something people are very fond of, but I love to read characters who are so blunt that it leaves their surroundings completely speechless. And most of the time, characters who are blunt definitely have some meaning behind their blunt words. Hearing about Tiffany’s past and what had happened to her husband (surprise, I completely forgot about that part in the movie, so reading about it basically came like a cold slap in the face — that’s also where I teared up again) was absolutely terrible and explains so much about her behaviour. It explains why Pat became so important to her and it kind of wraps the story up. It’s the conclusion, the explanation to her behaviour and everything she’s done. It’s the final explanation of her story.
The ‘side’ characters, so to speak, were also lovely. I especially really enjoyed Pat’s interaction with his mother and his therapist. And although I am not a really big sports fan (I like sports, but not enough to fill entire pages about a game) I did understand why it played such an important part in the story. Though reading about sports was the last thing on my list when picking this up, I ended up liking the stories and the reactions that came from it and it made the reading process a whole lot more interesting.
Silver Linings Playbook has become one of my favourite books so far, and I’m not really surprised. At one point I went from page 52 to 230 in a few hours and that’s usually a pretty solid indication that I am loving a book. It was a lovely read and it will always be on my favourites shelf. A definite recommendation to anyone who is a fan of stories with a serious red thread linking the stories together, sprinkled with a few giggle moments and others where you just want to hug the characters and never let go.