Shoehorned elements soured my opinion | BookishFirst

Shoehorned elements soured my opinion

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This book soured from 4 stars to 3 due to what I thought were shoehorned elements at the end. The look into Haze's early columns was great, it had a poignant mix of nostalgia, bittersweetness, joy and sorrow, humor and depth. Seeing how her words brought the community together and inspired people to share and explore new things was comfortably heartwarming, nothing revolutionary. Once we hit the year 2000 in Haze's columns, her character voice, which I had enjoyed up until then, shifts to become what is clearly a direct reflection of the author's one political opinions. I know "everything is political," but I think it speaks volumes that the writer includes Haze's strong opinions on Bush's election, but nothing about 9/11, which I didn't realize until another reviewer pointed it out). That glaring omission (considering Haze reflected on war and death in many other columns), combined with the later hint of possible "redemption" for the curmudgeonly elderly Tea Party member when he speaks about gun control after the Las Vegas shooting, to me is a sign of getting too caught up in making a point and not allowing the character to include a column she definitely would've written, but perhaps did not fit the author's personal agenda. I don't think it's stretching the author's intentions to say that the very few non-Democrats are cast as the antagonists of this book, and it's an obvious, forced effect.