Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Genre: General Fiction
Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: I am a huge fan of Lisa Genova's debut novel, Still Alice. I highly recommend that novel for anybody who likes Literary Fiction, as I thought it was a story that's wonderfully told. So I was excited to read her second novel, Left Neglected.

What I Liked: Reading its synopsis, I was immediately sold. The concept just sounds unique and original, like I've never read anything like it before. And it is indeed original. The way the author was able to mix in fact and information with fiction was effortless. I never felt like I was reading a textbook, or felt like I was being lectured. It also didn't hurt that it was fast-paced enough, and that the characters the author created were interesting as well.

What I Didn't Like: Lisa Genova's talented and skilled, and I don't deny that, but there were some parts in the book that I thought were just too repetitive. But the biggest flaw that this book has in my opinion, is its main character. Her behavior, personality, and internal dialogues that she has with herself, makes her character seem very shallow, which as a result, makes her difficult to empathize with. I just didn't really believe her and her moments of struggle, defeat, and even triumph. I didn't find myself rooting for her; I even found myself annoyed with her at times and rooting for her family members instead!

Overall: If the author's goal was to make her readers aware of the topic, then I am happy to say she exactly did that for me. The topic that the author chose for this fictional story is highly intriguing, and it's something I'm looking forward to learning more about in the future.However, the main character was not someone I can relate to, or root for, and so I didn't feel emotionally invested in her story in any way whatsoever.
I would still highly, highly recommend Still Alice, but would suggest for you to skip this. Although perfectly readable, it simply wasn't compelling enough for me.


  1. Sounds like a pass for me. But thanks for your honest review.

  2. It is so interesting to me to see that this book has came down to the reader liking or not liking the character. I loved her and totally related so I gave it a 4.

    I agree Still Alice is the must read though.

  3. I'm not familiar with this book so I'm not sure about the topic. Thanks for the lovely review. I'm off to find read the description so I can put it in context.

  4. Juju - I would still recommend it to you, since you do like this genre! If you were curious to see if you would like it or not too :)

    Marce - I agree; I know many that really liked this book as well, but I just could not get into it "emotionally."

    Alexis - The topic is interesting and one-of-a-kind! I couldn't say the exact plot line since it'll spoil some readers too!

  5. I loved Still Alice, so I'm a little sad this one wasn't as good. :(

  6. I definitely liked Still Alice much more. I am indifferent about Sarah. The reason I didn't like this one as much is because it's not as emotionally gripping. While I felt bad for her, I wasn't rooting for her like I was for Alice. Here's my review if you are interested: http://mentalfoodie.blogspot.com/2011/01/book-review-left-neglected-by-lisa.html

  7. Katie - I loved Still Alice as well. I would suggest you read this anyway just to see if you'd feel the same way I do or not.

    Christa - Exactly my reasons as well!