Hurray for the first book I completed for the 2012 Fifty Books Challenge! It wasn't that difficult since Bonjour Tristesse is only over a hundred pages long.
I'm thankful that it was very brief because I found the main character, Cecile, extremely irritating, selfish and arrogant. If I wanted to witness the lives of privileged people living colourless lives then I would have turned on an episode of a Kardashian TV show.
This was written by an eighteen-year old about a seventeen-year old and you can pretty much sniff out the teenage angst and boredom right from the very first page.
Although she does provide small glimpses of introspection and an occasional acute observance of a character's behaviour, most of the time her words aren't very penetrating and lacks a bit of depth.
This was set in the South of France, arguably the country's most glamourous area, during the most elegant of all decades but Sagan never really took me there. Again, I had brief glimpses of it but the language is so restrained I felt like I was witnessing the story with a cloak thrown over me. I was reading a Murakami and Bronte novel at the same time I was reading this and every lacklustre sentence I read in Bonjour Tristesse made me long for the rich, vibrant and complex storytelling from those accomplished writers.
However, I don't really regret reading this. It was a quick and easy read and I actually had fun mocking and despising the characters in the novel.