ARC Review: The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Afternoon Everyone,

Hope that you’re all well. Today is a celebration day for me! I’ve reached my Goodreads reading goal for the year. Super early! The last couple of years I’ve had to cram a bunch of books in towards the end of the year to reach my goal. I’ve never had a problem with that as the autumn and winter months are my favourite time to read but I must admit it’s nice to know it’s done. I obviously underestimated myself this year. I’m interested to know how others set their reading goal for the year or if you set one at all.

Book πŸ“–

Thank you to @JeanHanffKoreli and @FaberBooks for this advanced copy of The Plot in return for an honest review. The Plot was published on 5th August 2021 and you can get a copy here.

Description πŸ”–

Jake is a failed novelist. He’s teaching a creative writing class but his heart most definitely isn’t in it. Evan Parker is one of his students and is extremely arrogant. He is certain that he has the plot to a very successful novel, however he dies before he is able to write it.

Jake decides to inherit the plot, writes the novel and enjoys all of the success that it brings. However someone knows that the plot wasn’t thought of by him. If he doesn’t figure out who that someone is, then he could end up losing more than just his career.

General Thoughts πŸ€”

It was the cover that originally caught my attention with this book. I don’t particularly know why, but it just looked dramatic and different. When I started reading, the book ended up being something that I really wasn’t expecting. I knew that the entire story couldn’t be about “stealing” someone else’s plot, but I didn’t anticipate the huge plot twist that was about to smack me in the face.

I thought a lot about how writers pull together a plot after reading this book. Surely nearly every plot has some influence from others and it has to be near to impossible to come up with something that has literally never been done before. Granted, Jake took this plot from Evan, however he wrote it himself. He didn’t use Evan’s manuscript and re-work it. So I don’t know quite where I stand on the morality of what Jake did. I found it a really interesting thinking point though.

Characters πŸ‘¬πŸ‘­πŸ‘«

Jake kind of annoyed me a little through the book. I wanted him to just own what had happened as in my opinion I think he deserved the success regardless. But instead I thought he was a little weak and decided to hide away from the problem rather than confront it. I understand that his career was at risk, but I think he could have got in front of it and handled the situation better.

I am really cautious to talk about any of the other characters in the book as I would hate to give any spoilers. I have strong feelings about one of them in particular though. I plan on scouring some other reviews once I’ve written this to I can see if other readers felt the same as me.

Writing Style ✍️

I haven’t read any other books from this author and I’m kicking myself now as I really enjoyed the writing. It wasn’t overtly dramatic but rather an understated, bubbling under the surface kind of tension.

The mix of sections from the novel and present time chapters was fantastic and the timing of the story unfolding was perfect. Every section of the novel I read gave me a clue about what was going on in Jake’s story and kept me flicking through the pages at pace.

Conclusion & Scoring πŸŽ–οΈ

I don’t know why this book took me by such surprise, but it did. I don’t think I’ve read a book with a storyline quite like this and I thought it was fascinating. It’s by sheer coincidence that the last two books I’ve read have been about writers and both have been quite different. The Plot was my favourite of the two and I’d really like to discover more about this author. Now all I need is to find someone with a really great plot so I can write a novel.


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