Megan, recently out of college and working a meaningless job as a gastroenterologist s secretary, openly hates all of her friends for being happy and successful She makes herself feel better by obsessively critiquing the behavior of her coworker, Jillian, a rapid cycling, grotesque optimist, whose downfall is precipitated by the purchase of a dog.
Jillian Megan recently out of college and working a meaningless job as a gastroenterologist s secretary openly hates all of her friends for being happy and successful She makes herself feel better by obsess
Ok So here s what reading Jillian is like It s like waking up one morning with a stinging hangover and discovering a strange woman wielding a knife in your kitchen She s cutting freezer bagels and has possibly too large of a smile on her face and she tells you a rather funny story about someone she works with at the office, you know The entire time she s holding onto this knife and cutting an endless supply of freezer bagels You think to yourself, Who is she How did she get in here That isn t my [...]
This is some potent writing I got into the skewed twinning between the focuses on Jillian and Megan, but I think the real skill here is how Bulter keeps you alternating between rooting for and not liking either of these characters It s masterfully done and very moving, even in a normal daily life kind of scenario It definitely beats you around a bit too if for no other reason for what and how much it gets under your skin, but you don t want to stop reading It s stressful, but very good I m impre [...]
Every now and then you pick up a book at random and are completely pleasantly surprised Hovering between 3 and 4 stars, but probably holding back at three for how rotten and sad it made me feel.
The downward spirals are so accurate I started feeling sad and lost tooat is to say, I highly recommend this book
This book is sour and bitter and weird and that s why I love it.
too close for comfort, painfully sharp dialogue, deliciously loveable unlikeable women characters, and in the last two chapters a beautiful zoom out look at their surroundings that took me by surprise perfect poison can t wait to read from Halle Butler curbside splendor is publishing the best kind of american nightmare fiction.
This book hovers between 3 and 4 stars for me The writing is sharp, and the characters are funny and weird, if a bit unlikeable but I can dig me some unlikeable characters The author does a killer job of nailing the self destructive urges people have when they re spiraling into something dark and can t stop, and the ending, where we focus in on various characters also nearby animals, was a bit of beauty However, I felt like I was with these characters up until the last third of the book, where I [...]
I expected to like this book, but I didn t find it funny, witty, or even engaging like the other reviewers I honestly can t tell if the author is being experimental and unique, or if she honestly can t write better I felt that it was a cop out to have no transitions and constant flux between POVs There was nothing beautiful or thought provoking, and I cringed with embarrassment at some of the perspectives described at the end I think I would have been impressed if the main character had somethi [...]
DISCLAIMER I work for this publisher Jillian is the perfect balance of cruel self loathing, ironic humor and occasional moments of fleeting beauty When it officially comes out I will be recommending it to everyone Butler s close distance from her subjects feels both judgmental and tender, somehow I m not really sure how to explain it I cared so much about the outcome of the two protagonists even as they made horrible, selfish, unbelievable decisions Beautifully biting dialogue A really surprisin [...]
This was hilarious and I could have read 1000 pages about these people.
Kirkus reviews said something along the lines of Jillian reads like a junk food binge and I cannot help but agree It perfectly caters to my voyueristic sensibilities while often making poignant observations about how Americans live their lives The two main characters are perfect opposites in their approach to life and come together to repel each other at their shared job reception at a gastroenterologist s office The setting truly speaks to Butler s dark humor One that is subtle and often appear [...]
Bummed I will miss the discussion for this book I ll be at the ballet.I wasn t sure which character was depressing Both Jillian and Megan appear to have lives that are unfulfilling Jillian attempts to use delusional optimism mantras to try to prop herself up, and the acquisition of things a puppy, Crispy in an attempt to find happiness and to make her world a better place But she doesn t have the follow through to actually work to get the expected happiness training the dog, following through o [...]
So funny, yet so serious Two odd girls with a love hate relationship Well they don t hate each other just themselves Issues, issues, issues Head case, well who isn t Rescue me from my tower of self loathing and the other uhh I m crazy really This author managed to get into my head , how you ask Her writing skills told a story so believable that it made me cringed at times Yep, you got a reaction from me I was glued to the pages until the end I could say it was a fast read because I did read it i [...]
At its base level, Jillian is about a woman who really hates her co worker.This does not necessarily make for a riveting plot, nor is our main character sympathetic enough as a result for me to necessarily care about anything that happened in this book What rescues it for me is that the writing is pretty tight and the book flows really well The only problem is that the book ends up being pretty forgettable not long after reading it, which is a shame.As a short read, you could find worse But ther [...]
From HFR contributor Jack Kaulfus As their stories hurtle onward toward destruction, Butler unhands the steering wheel and takes her foot off the brakes Like Jillian s prayer to Jesus for an actual wreck that would land her in the hospital and give credence to her downward spiral, I too wished for a fight or a death or another accidental knife in the sink before the last page Anything would have been better than having to acknowledge the bleak conclusion though a fire is coming for them both, Me [...]
I read this book in two days I mean that in a good way.Amazing snapshot across a spectrum of age I think we all have embodied a piece of each character at some point along the way, although perhaps not as intensely The universality of each character is both appealing and disheartening While reading this book I was reminded of who I was, where I am now, what I regret and what I want to be.
The year may well be young, but I have a favorite book published in 2015, and I think this one will be hard to beat Fantastic stuff from Halle Butler If you haven t read anything by her before I suggest you get started now
A painfully insightful, oddly fun novel about two very fucked up, familiar people I enjoyed this a lot even though it s not what I m into right now, which is always a good sign.
Quiet, hilarious, and the story is a nearly perfect escalation of unsettling developments I felt queasy at the end.
Compelling and darkly funny A very quick read
Full review at everydayiwritethebookblog Jillian is a strange, dark little book about two unhappy women and their parallel unravelings Megan is in her mid 20s and works as an admin in a gastroenterologist s office scheduling appointments and reviewing colonoscopy films Her co worker, Jillian, is a single mom in her 30s with toddler Megan is depressed and moody, and she is judgmental of everyone around her, especially people who are pulled together than she is Jillian, on the other hand, wears a [...]
This was brutal, engrossing, and somehow mundane.This follows two co workers, Megan and Jillian, who hate each other and themselves They re both making choices that slowly cause their lives to get worse Both appear to have depression, but neither really knows it Megan distracts herself by judging Jillian, watching as she implodes Jillian appears to be stupidly optimistic, but in the end we know she is paying attention than she lets on.There isn t much of a plot, except that things keep getting [...]
Megan works in a doctor s office with Jillian, a woman than 10 years older who is irrationally optimistic and cheery even as her life is spinning out of control Megan is also losing her mind as her friends and acquaintances are building real lives while she is stuck looking at colonoscopy pictures to file in a mundane job with the irritating co worker She even sort of hate and resents her boyfriend who is, generally, supportive and nice to her Jillian is on the verge of being crazy A single mot [...]
I picked this up because the author was named to 5 under 35 and some reviewer said its was like Girls at its best I think I finished it in just over 24 hours It s not too long, but completely riveting I m tempted to say it s light on plot, but that s not really accurate The events of the novel are relatively small, but both main characters are so psychologically well portrayed, each happening carries a lot of weight Daily life is so compelling when its intimately and humorously rendered There wa [...]
Brutally funny and squirm inducing I breezed through this in a few hours and had a blast Butler knows when to call it a novel, as any time with these characters may have been too much I imagine Megan and Jillian are so unlikable because they each exemplify personality traits and character flaws many of us would hate to admit we share, even on some hopefully, mercifully minute level though here these are, of course, magnified to grotesquerie I ll be interested to read writing by this author.
I came across this novel after reading Halle Butler s short story featured in Granta s Best Young American Writers issue The description of Jillian mentioned something about a novel that reads like rubbernecking so I was very intrigued Jillian is a very quick paced and unusual book The protagonists are pretty sad sacks, equally pathetic, but for different reasons There was something very fresh and unique about this book, which was a welcome change of pace for me at the moment.
One review on the back says this reads like a junk food binge , which sums it up exactly, except for feeling gross afterwards, which I didn t get with this book I felt pretty neutral after reading, which is not to say that it wasn t enjoyable while I was reading I liked the deadpan style and felt sorry for or annoyed with the characters in turn.
This is so hard to review I did not find it hilarious like others, I found it to be kind of hard to read because these are really sad and pathetic people who made bad choices BUT, the writing was so good, it stirred up all these feelings about these characters They have stuck with me because they were so real I m so worried about these people.