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Book Review: These Days Are Ours by Michelle Haimoff Falls Short

Book Review: These Days Are Ours by Michelle Haimoff

These Days Are Ours is a coming of age drama about Hailey, a recent graduate who is living at home with her parents (in their Fifth Avenue penthouse), trying to find a job and figure her life out. It is set in New York, six months after the 9/11 attacks.

Of course her friends all seem to have their lives sorted out with Katie working at Morgan Stanley, Randy and Jess partying all night long – but Hailey is looking for more than that. She’s sure that Michael Brenner is the one for her but it doesn’t seem to be working out, so when Adrian, a recent Brown graduate, comes along, she begins to realise that there is a life outside of the privileged circle she has been sheltered in her entire life.

Although These Days Are Ours has a very fun and colourful cover, the story inside is anything but. I thought this would be a fun summer read, but in actual fact I don’t think I smiled at all whilst reading this story. It’s actually more about the disenchantment felt by privileged youngsters in New York, and the lack of motivation after a major terrorist attack. I suppose Haimoff succeeded in capturing those things because I felt ‘disenchanted’ pretty much the whole way through.

There isn’t much of a story to this novel; it’s a snapshot of Hailey’s life as she tries to figure out who she really is without her parent’s names and what she wants in life. Whilst her opinions on life and the world develop for the better over the course of the novel, I wouldn’t say that there’s a whole lot more to this story.

I think this story tried to emulate that “Gossip Girl” and “Girls” vibe, but unfortunately fell short of it by quite a way. The protagonist is not the most likeable of characters, which makes the book very difficult to get into. She’s not exactly dislikable and I mostly agree with her outlook on things, she also wasn’t the most interesting of people.

I’m unsure as to whether we were supposed to sympathise with Hailey but personally the story of a rich girl complaining about how she’s going to carve her own story if she carries Daddy’s surname, is not one that is going to get any from me.

This, I think, is the biggest problem with the book. The way it talks about the elite is in a way that makes it seem completely inaccessible to your average reader. Of course, something like Gossip Girl is also about insanely rich youngsters in New York, but most people found their story incredibly interesting and started rooting for different characters. There’s none of that in These Days Are Ours.

What’s more, the synopsis indicated to me that there would be a fair amount of romance in this story, but if you think that’s what you’re going to get – you would be wrong. I got the impression that this book would be centered around Hailey and her choosing between two very different guys and learning a lot through these experiences but I found myself disappointed. Adrian and Hailey only really have any interesting conversations in the last fifty pages of the story.

I can’t help but feel that this story was a little out of place in being published in 2012. The events of 9/11 were long in the past by this stage and as someone who was quite young at the time of these events and not a New Yorker, it was a little hard to picture what it was like for these people. The sentiments of these individuals were not explained properly thus to an ‘outsider’ like me there was probably a lot of meaning lost.

I think it would be very interesting to come back to These Days Are Ours after the Paris attacks in October 2015 as I think I would be able to relate to the story a lot more, however, as most people have never truly been involved in a terrorist attack, I think this story will alienate a lot of readers.

Whilst there are some interesting parts but this book isn’t anything spectacular. In this case, really don’t judge the book by this cover because this book is neither bright and happy, nor any good. The characters are dull, there’s not much of a plot and this book only makes you dislike the elite even more.

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Laura is a culture and travel blogger based in London. She studied French at Oxford University and now studies Law in London. She’s an avid reader and traveller and loves to combine the two with literary travel. Find her tips and reviews on the best reads, eats and destinations on whatshotblog.com.

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  1. 25th February 2016 / 5:42 PM

    Aww that is a shame, from what you first described- it sounded like something I could get into.
    Shame it fell flat ๐Ÿ™

    • 26th February 2016 / 10:29 AM

      That’s what I thought too but I guess not all books will please everyone ๐Ÿ™

  2. 25th February 2016 / 7:04 PM

    At first this sounded right up my street, but what a shame it didn’t live up to the great sounding idea for a book. x

    • 26th February 2016 / 10:28 AM

      I know, I hate it when a book disappoints!! ๐Ÿ™

  3. 25th February 2016 / 7:09 PM

    oh I have not heard of this up until now and sounds right up my street

    • 26th February 2016 / 10:29 AM

      Not sure I’d recommend picking it up though

  4. Melanie Edjourian
    25th February 2016 / 9:06 PM

    This sounds like a great book and one to look out for.

    • 26th February 2016 / 10:30 AM

      I wouldn’t recommend picking it up to be honest

    • Melanie Edjourian
      26th February 2016 / 10:40 AM

      that’s a shame.

  5. Rhian Westbury
    25th February 2016 / 9:24 PM

    This sounds like exactly my kind of book so it’s on my Amazon wish list now! x

  6. 25th February 2016 / 10:15 PM

    Shame that it didn’t meet expectations because I loved Gossip Girl and this sounded like it would be a cracking read but sadly it is not!

    • 26th February 2016 / 10:28 AM

      Yeah that’s what I thought too and then I was let down…

  7. Elizabeth
    26th February 2016 / 7:00 AM

    After this review I think I’ll give this book a pass then. Perhaps it would appeal to that type of individual it writes about instead?

    • 26th February 2016 / 10:30 AM

      Probably! It’s appealing to a very slim percentage of people in that case…

  8. London Mum
    26th February 2016 / 8:05 AM

    Hmm not sure if it’s the book for me either. The cover looks great and it would have been something I would have picked up based on that.

    • 26th February 2016 / 10:31 AM

      Me too! That’s exactly why I picked it up but I guess it’s true you shouldn’t judge a book based on its cover!

    • 26th February 2016 / 10:27 AM

      In this case, don’t judge the book by its cover! The inside story is very different.

  9. Mandi
    26th February 2016 / 9:45 AM

    This is why I love reading book reviews, as a person with very little spare time, I need to know I am not wasting my time, think this one sounds a little too heavy for a light read, as it first appeared on the cover, thanks for being honest x

    • 26th February 2016 / 10:32 AM

      That’s why I read reviews too! This one was given to me so at least I didn’t waste any money!

  10. Hungry_Healthy_Happy
    26th February 2016 / 10:32 AM

    The title of your post made me think that this was the perfect blog for me, but after your review I think I might give it a miss. Thanks for the honest review!

    • 16th March 2016 / 3:46 PM

      That pretty much sums up how I reacted to this book too! Thought it’d be be perfect, didn’t live up to expectations.

  11. Alyssia Slade
    26th February 2016 / 10:37 AM

    Thank you for the honest review, having read the title I thought this book might be for me, but I think I’ll give it a miss

    • 16th March 2016 / 3:46 PM

      That’s what I thought when I looked at the cover/blurb but unfortunately I was disappointed ๐Ÿ™

  12. Emma Matthews
    26th February 2016 / 11:25 AM

    Aw what a shame! The idea of a Gossip Girl X Girls feel would have definitely drawn me in.

    • 16th March 2016 / 3:46 PM

      Me too! That’s precisely why I read it but unfortunately it fell short :/

  13. The Nice Nest
    26th February 2016 / 6:08 PM

    I’d have been attracted to the book by the cover and if the synopsis sounded interested would have given it a go. As I don’t have as much time as I would like to read at the moment, I will probably give is a miss now!

    • 16th March 2016 / 3:47 PM

      This definitely isn’t worth wasting your time on if you don’t have much time to read at all – there are so many other amazing books out there!

  14. 26th February 2016 / 6:43 PM

    I know we shouldn’t judge books by their covers, but that’s a lovely cover! xo

    • 16th March 2016 / 3:49 PM

      It is! The cover is what lured me in so it’s a shame the story wasn’t that great ๐Ÿ™

  15. fashion-mommy
    26th February 2016 / 10:53 PM

    Oh dear, doesn’t sound like much of a read – one to avoid.x

  16. Hannah Malanga
    26th February 2016 / 11:09 PM

    What a shame, it looked like it would be good. Thanks for the heads up, I don’t think I will bother reading it!

    • Laura @ What's Hot?
      16th March 2016 / 3:53 PM

      It does look good doesn’t it? Another reminder that we shouldn’t judge things based on appearances haha

  17. Leanne Dolan
    27th February 2016 / 8:05 AM

    Great review. Shame it wasn’t what you’d expect going from front the cover. I’m Def someone who picks up books based on the covers!

    • 16th March 2016 / 3:53 PM

      Me too! That’s how I fell into this trap in the first place :/

  18. 27th February 2016 / 10:42 AM

    Really enjoyed this review – I think your review was pretty concise but covered everything. I do think its annoying when books and the covers don’t match – honestly we do judge a book by its cover. The cover does make it feel like a summer, girls, friendship, fun, love type of a book. Seems like a total disconnect between the writer and the cover designer!

    • 16th March 2016 / 3:53 PM

      Exactly! No correlation at all in my opinion, which is very misleading!

  19. Rachael Phillips
    27th February 2016 / 12:38 PM

    this is why i love your reviews because you tell it like it is rather than just what you think people want to read. i’ll not bother with this as you;’ve got great taste!

    • 16th March 2016 / 3:52 PM

      Thanks Rachael! Made my day ๐Ÿ˜€ I’d to have someone read a book they didn’t like after a dishonest review :/

    • 16th March 2016 / 3:54 PM

      Yep onto the next! It’s not just that the cover looks good and the story is not, it’s that they are completely unrelated to each other?!

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