Monday, September 29, 2014

How to Climb the Eiffel Tower by Elizabeth Hein

 I received a free review copy of this book through Netgalley.

When I first joined Netgalley, I was excited. I didn't look into some of my requests as closely as I should have. Maybe if I did, I wouldn't be faced with the challenge I have now. Or maybe I would have misinterpreted this book anyway - I really did think I wanted to read this one.

But I'm not here to tell you it's a bad book. It's not. How to Climb the Eiffel Tower isn't my type of book, but it's extremely well-written. It flowed nicely and I enjoyed the somewhat slow pacing as it helped the reader understand the characters and situation. 

Immediately starting the book we find out the main character, Lara, has been diagnosed with cancer. She's a closed-off woman with a difficult past to work through. She is also constantly exercising and part of her workout is "climbing the Eiffel Tower" through a setting on a machine at the gym. She would never think of climbing the actual Eiffel Tower, but her diagnosis and her new friend Jane change her perspective and make her realize that sometimes difficult things can be worth it.

I'm telling you about the book because I think it would be wonderful in the hands of the right reader. I think it would be touching and heartfelt and everything it was written to be.

If you're looking for complete honesty, I did not finish this book. But I didn't want to call this a DNF review, because I don't want to give the wrong impression. I went into this expecting a light chick-lit, although I knew it involved cancer from the start. I looked at the title and was excited about the Eiffel Tower, which as far as I can tell is not actually visited in the novel.

Readers who don't have these same expectations will probably love this book. Those who read more adult contemporary will probably love this book. It's one of those that I'm not sure exactly why it wouldn't click for me; it just didn't. But I encourage you to give it a chance if it interests you. And if I haven't done a great job convincing you, check out the reviews on Goodreads. So many people loved this.


  1. I made many of the same mistakes when I first got NG heck I still do, but these days I am trying to be much much more selective in the books I review. I don't think this would be for me because I hate books that deal with cancer. THanks for your honest post.

    1. I'm glad someone else can relate, too. I admit I was a bit embarrassed posting this and admitting that I just couldn't finish the book, but I do think in the end this will be more helpful than forcing my way through and reviewing.

      I am sorry that this isn't your type of book, but I do hope this post eventually finds readers who will enjoy it :D