Monday, February 12, 2024

I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai

Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars 
Pages: 438 pages
Published: February 2023

I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai is a fictional mystery story with protagonist Bodie Kane. A successful podcaster, she returns to her boarding school to teach a class in podcasting. Her students are tasked with creating a three-episode podcast surrounding a specific topic. Two of the students choose to work together on the criminal case that involved the murder of Bodie's roommate while she attended the school several decades prior. From there, the reader is taken on this detailed journey narrated by the main character in an attempt to find out if justice had really been served all those years ago when a school staff member was arrested, tried, and convicted of the crime back in the 90s. 

Mysteries used to be my favorite genre, but they are quickly giving way to literary fiction as I am enjoying stylistic writing rather than a catchy plot with an unbelievable twist. In this book, I think the author was trying to do too much and make too many statements. There was a lot of clutter that wasn't fully fleshed out. I also found the main character's narration where she was speaking to her former teacher to be unreliable and confusing. I understan, in mysteries, an element of confusion is often used to keep the reader guessing, engaged, and invested in the story, but this just frustrated me. I was also disappointed in the racial aspects of the story, and I don't think they were really needed. 

This book was just too much with little payoff in the end. I had a hard time staying engaged and put it down often. I've heard great things about Makkai's earlier work, The Great Believers, and I think I might pick that up and give her storytelling another try. 

Recommendation: My overall take on this book: meh. I can take it or leave it. It was a hefty book with many characters to wade through that ended with an unsatisfying conclusions. If I knew then what I know now, I would have invested my time reading something else. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


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