Etta and Otto and Russell and James

Etta and Otto and Russell and James: A Novel - Emma Hooper

Normally I start my reviews off with a quote but I can't be bothered to go back and look for a quote for this. I don't want to spend more time on this then I need to. Some hipster some where will love this and think that it is profound, as for me I couldn't quite see the point of the book. It wasn't all bad as I did enjoy the parts from the past but I did not like Etta's journey at all.


This book constantly switches between the past and present and gives readers no warning or clue as to whether it is the past or present (although it isn't that hard to figure out most of the time, but it does get a little sketchy towards the end). Running throughout the book is this sort of love triangle between Etta, Otto, and Russell, that leaves readers wondering what happened and why/how Etta winds up with Otto. The book goes back to the past to explain things as necessary but I feel like this would have been a more compelling story if the story would have been in chronological order.


All throughout reading this whenever James the coyote made an appearance I couldn't help but hear every English teacher I had saying:  what do you feel James symbolizes? Don't get me wrong, I like analyzing books and finding the symbolism in them but this was too much. There was just no entertainment or enjoyment in this. Don't even get me started on that ending. But quite frankly it's not like the book was really moving anywhere all that much at that point so the ending doesn't really matter. I'll end my review by saying that at least the book was pretty short.


Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the galley.