Friday, January 3, 2014

We Need To Talk About Kevin - Book Club

I am excited to be participating in my very first book club, even if I am a little late.  I hadn't finished the book by the end of December when Bonnie (read her review is here) began the discussion, but I have finished it now and am excited to talk about it!  For this time around, I am just going to answer some discussion questions on the book.  Hopefully in the future I can provide better book reviews/discussions.

This month's book was We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. Kevin murdered 7 of his fellow students, a teacher, and a cafeteria worker at his high school.  The book is a series of letters written by Kevin's mother, Eva, to his father, Franklin, following the murders.

We Need To Talk about Kevin Book Review

I would recommend this book to others however getting through the first 150 pages is rough.  I didn't feel a connection with the characters, the language is complex, and the book just drags on. As the book went on, I became more attached to the characters, with the exception of Franklin, and the language no longer seemed to inhibit the book.  The last 75 pages were wonderful and are worth reading the rest of the book.

Did the letter format of the writing bother you, or do you think it enhanced the story by being told this way?

I didn't mind the letter format except I found the language to be very complex with plenty of new vocabulary words (plenty of material for future word of the week postings).  Without giving anything away, I think the ending of the book was enhanced by the letter writing format.

 What did you think of Eva as a protagonist?  Did you find her likable?  Did you relate to her or were you disgusted by her thoughts on motherhood?

I didn't especially like Eva or any of the other characters in the book to start with.  As the book went on, I really began to like Eva.  I thought she was the only one who truly understood Kevin, even if she resented him.  

Eva didn't want to be a mother but wanted a change.  I wasn't disgusted by her thoughts on motherhood however I did think that she would have been better off not having a baby.  I do not blame her for Kevin committing the murders.  He came out of the womb as a bad egg.  

 What were your impressions of Eva's visits to Kevin in prison?  Why does she feel so obligated to see him and do you think she should continue to do so based on the way he treats her?

Initially, I hated that Eva visited Kevin in prison.  I felt that she was just subjecting herself to more of his cruelty.  As the book went on, I began looking forward to Eva's visits with Kevin because I felt that her visits with Kevin gave her some closure on the incident as well as opened Kevin up to the readers.  

I think that Eva should continue to visit Kevin.  After all that he did, she is still his mother and he is still a young man.  There is hope for him in the future, and I think these visits are necessary. Once again without giving too much away, I think these visits are fruitful.

Have you read the book?  What did you think?  Has anybody seen the movie? I am interested in watching it to see how it compares to the book.


  1. That sounds so chilling! Will definitely put it on my "to read" list!

  2. I absolutely loved this book but the film was a bit of a let down for me, they left out some really important scenes and tried to make it too 'artsy'.

  3. wow book club sounds so interesting :D on my bucket list for the future

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