The Empress of Idaho by Todd Babiak | Book Review


Pages: 336
Publication: Penguin Random House
Release date: April 30, 2019
How I got the copy: Penguin Random House Canada
Rating: 3/5

The cover of this book is stunning and caught my eye the second I saw it. The colours are gorgeous and work so well together and I love the melting ice cream. Which I interpreted the book as summery, fun, but also messy from the melting ice cream. And between Adam and Beatrice, messy it is.

The Empreess of Idaho follows Adam Lisinski, fourteen-years-old, in Monument, Colorado in 1989. Hoping to be starter of the football team, has a protective mother, a girlfriend, and a part-time job with his best friend. Adam’s neighbour returns from vacation with a new wife, Beatrice, and he finds himself mesmerized with her and drop all of it to spend time with Beatrice.

This book is not what I expected and instead I found myself reading about a boy getting involved with a grown women. I think the fact that it’s written in first person is a reason why I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to. It was frustrating reading from Adam’s perspective on how he felt about what was happening between him and Beatrice.

I’m conflicted. The book reads like it’s written by a man, which it is but doesn’t have to be so obvious, and I didn’t want to finish the book if it were to end with Adam never learning or understanding what happened to him was wrong. I didn’t feel invested in any of the characters and Adam never really processes the trauma that he goes through. Which makes me kind of think “what was the point?”. I wasn’t completely disappointed, as I feared how the conclusion would unravel, but I wasn’t completely satisfied either.

It’s a sad story and I think I would have enjoyed it more if it didn’t feel so obviously written by a man. I found myself losing interest at times because I didn’t find the story very exciting or interesting story and I highly enjoy character driven books. This one was a miss for me. On to the next.

*A copy of this book was provided by Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review*