Dori & Jess’ Book Club Reviews California

California: A NovelCalifornia: A Novel by Edan Lepucki

This novel is trying to be a hyper-realistic version of future, dystopian America. The rich can afford to live relatively normally but most everything is too expensive for the 99%. In addition, climate change created super storms that killed a lot of people and left the landscape barren in many places. The main characters, Cal and Frida, have moved from Los Angeles out to the middle of nowhere to try to live. They eventually find a community called The Land where the people can offer security but also perhaps dangers of their own. While decently written from a diction and grammar point-of-view, both Dori and I feel just “meh” about this book. It was not very well plotted. The story never really progressed. For awhile I was intrigued by the mystery and danger surrounding The Land but the secrets and “climax” of the story were a letdown.  Also, the book really didn’t have an ending. It just stopped. Dori summed it up nicely saying that Ms. Lepucki’s debut novel “suffers from too many ideas and not enough clarity of purpose.” Overall, “California” is a melodramatic, run-of-the-mill, post-apocalyptic story which became increasingly frustrating through its many mini-build ups that resulted in no consequences or plot progression.

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