Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Review: I Have Some Questions For You by Rebecca Makkai

by Rebecca Makkai
Release Date: February 21, 2023
2023 Viking
Kindle Edition; 438 Pages
ISBN: 978-0593490143
Audiobook: B0B622Q8G4
Genre: Fiction / Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

2.25 / 5 Stars

A successful film professor and podcaster, Bodie Kane is content to forget her past—the family tragedy that marred her adolescence, her four largely miserable years at a New Hampshire boarding school, and the murder of her former roommate, Thalia Keith, in the spring of their senior year.

But when the Granby School invites her back to teach a course, Bodie is inexorably drawn to the case and its increasingly apparent flaws. In their rush to convict Omar, did the school and the police overlook other suspects? Is the real killer still out there? 
My Thoughts
I Have Some Questions For You had an interesting premise, and I was intrigued by the fact that Bodie was a podcaster, but unfortunately, the story did not live up to its premise.  The story was extremely slow, and the mystery was thin, to say the least. I also think it was way too long, filled with secondary plot lines that added very little to the overall story.  
First of all, Bodie was super annoying. I don't have to like the main character, but I need to understand the motives and feel some type of connection to what they are going through. All Bodie did was try and bring everything back to her and what she went through, whether it was at school at in life. Personally, I found her whiny, self-centered, and extremely selfish.  The author spends so much time trying to convince the reader that Bodie wasn't the one who developed the idea for the podcast and the murders, making sure you understood it was solely her student's idea that is grew superfluous to the story. Really? 
There were a lot of characters to keep track of, something that is normally not a problem, but when there is little character development to distinguish all the characters, this becomes an issue. After a while, I couldn't tell them apart, they were all so one-dimensional. All it did was lesson the overall impact I think the author was going for.  
The story itself could have been very interesting, but what I find sometimes is this tendency to what to discuss multiple issues within the same story, something that overwhelms both the story and the characters.  The themes themselves were quite good, things such as SA, grooming, predatory behaviour, racism, sexism, and so on. The problem is there were way too many issues and I think the author was overwhelmed sometimes with which issue should be highlighted so both the characters and the story suffered as a result. If a couple of these issues had been chose and allowed to develop, I think we would have had a much better story overall, something that would have allowed for better character development as well.  
I Have Some Questions For You is classified as a literary ...something, but I can't quite figure out what it was. Mystery?  I found the writing to be simplistic, and the character development was non-existent, with a main character that was poorly written and frankly, annoying.  I think it was trying to be deep and contemplative, but it missed the mark completely.  Upon completion of this novel, I am still trying to figure out its purpose and what I was supposed to take away from it.  Unfortunately, this book did not live up to its expectations for me.