This is one of those books that I’ve seen floating around the blogosphere for a long time. Every time I would read a review of it I would think, Would I like this book? Maybe I should read it. Sometimes I would add it to my TBR, but then I would take it back off because I just wasn’t convinced that it would be a book I would actually like. It sounded like it might be kind of sad, and we all know that I don’t really enjoy reading books that are kind of sad.
But then I decided to participate in the #AuthoraMonth challenge on Litsy, which I talked about when I reviewed Beartown, because Backman both wrote Beartown and was January’s author. And since I didn’t hate Beartown – in fact, I found it to be a rather compelling read – I decided to pick up Ove, even though multiple people told me that it was a very different kind of book.
And it was a very different kind of book, but I ended up loving it. I’m not sure I’ll exactly be able to explain why I loved it, and I also can’t explain why loving this book has not particularly made me want to read anything else Backman wrote. It’s honestly kind of weird! But overall this was a read that made me both laugh and cry, and that honestly doesn’t happen very often.
My review is going to have some mild spoilers, so if you like to go into a book knowing nothing, don’t read any further. I’m not going into every nitty-gritty detail, but it’s hard to talk about this book without talking about some of the events within it, but in fairness part of the delight of this book is watching it gently unfold in front of you. But if you want the skinny: 4.5* and my favorite new read of January (as opposed to rereads).