Paris For One by Jojo Moyes
Me Before You was an amazing book, a book I don’t think I’ll ever fully get over. Yes, there are definitely issues with the plotline and the sequel left a whole lot to be desired, but Jojo Moyes is just a fantastic writer, and one I tend to turn to when I’m feeling particularly sad or tired.
I noticed Paris For One in my local library, so I decided to pick it up and give it a go. Short story collections seem to have caught my interest so far this year, I’ve read three in the space of three weeks. This was the first of the three that I’ve read, at least as of today.
It was, in essence, a massive letdown for me. Almost not worth the time I spent reading. ‘Adult’ books are always hit or miss for me – note the quotation marks used there. An ‘adult’ book in this instance is a book that focuses on a cast of mostly or mainly adults, that do adult-related things, with other adults, and focuses on the realities of adult life.
Examples in which this works well for me, and creates a story that I really enjoy: A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon, The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness, Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding.
Examples in which this creates a story that I actually hate: Paris For One by Jojo Moyes.
It’s not even that I dislike the writing, it’s simply that her characters are so dumb, and petty, and childish. There were stories I did like in here, but they were almost always spoilt by the main character being a general brat. The main character of the titular story was maybe the only one I genuinely liked, although her actions seemed very formulaic, and I could tell what the outcome of the story would be from the first page.
A lot of the stories seemed very rushed and not fully formed, some of them didn’t seem to need to be included at all. Every short story collection has stories that hit and stories that miss the mark for you, but a collection where most of the stories are complete failures is just a waste of the author’s time.
I gave this collection two stars, at the end of it all, so it wasn’t completely dreadful. Paris For One (the story, not the collection) was probably the best one out of them all, so that’s what’s dragging this book up from one star to two.