So I just finished reading this book from NetGalley.com. It was an ARC, however, given my recent move and such I’m way behind. Now, this book was in the YA section but I didn’t feel it was a YA book, let me explain further.
Now, this book is pretty short, and as such so will be my review. The book takes place in San Francisco, after the dot com bust, and I felt half the book was spent describing the city. Don’t get me wrong I love to get a realistic feel for a setting, especially one I’m not familiar with, but this felt excessive. I felt bogged down with street names and directions, almost like I was reading the directions from my GPS, more so given how short the book was.
The book is a mystery of sorts, though frankly I am having trouble properly classifying it. The main character Max is a middle aged tax man who has a sorted history with Joe and Christina. He is trying to navigate a murder investigation, possible tax conspiracy, and his past. Now like the directions I felt so out of place not understanding the abundance of tax terms, though mind you I don’t handle my own taxes either, that felt like more of a manual.
The story itself felt brief and unexplored. I knew more about the city than I did about the characters. There were some great physical descriptions that showed the emotion of the character but that was it. There was no depth. What I did learn about them was in narration and never by seeing it, so I had to take it in through the clouded judgment of the main character. I think the story also progressed quickly and sporadically, like we took the scenic route from point A to point B. Conversations ended then it seemed as though they were in a new place and talking about new things and I was left thinking where is the in between parts.
I wish I could give it a higher rating because I absolutely hate giving a ‘bad’ review. It’s not so much that I disliked the book; it was okay I just didn’t connect with it. So sadly I can only give The Golden Gate is Red by Jim Kohlberg 2 stars. I do give Kohlberg credit as I have since looked it up and found he is writing from some past experiences as well as mention that he normally works on screenplays. That does make more sense to me now, but I wish the plot line was more flushed out and developed like the scenery.
So anyways, The Golden Gate is Red, came out July 17, 2012. Have you read it? What did you think? Questions or Comments below.