Warning: this review may contain spoilers
Let me start today's review with this: I live in a bubble. When I stumbled across this book in an email from one of the sites my local library uses for digital media, I just thought it sounded cool. I didn't know it had been made into a movie. I didn't know that Oprah read it for her book club. I didn't know anything about this book. About half way through, I said something about it to someone and they told me it was a movie and I should watch it after I read the book! Like I said, I live in a bubble.
With all that said, I went into this book with no expectations because I didn't know anything about it. I gotta say, I liked the book. Sex, drugs and language are things I can deal with, if you can't, don't read this book. This is the true story of a woman who hiked hundreds of miles across the Pacific Crest Trail. For those of you who also live in a bubble, this is a scenic trail that stretches from the Mexican/American border to the Canadian/American border across the western coast. Thousands of people hike this trail every year, most are just on day hikes, a few hike large portions and then there are the real bad-asses who hike from border to border, but I imagine there are fewer of those.
Cheryl has been through a lot in her life. Then, in her twenties, her mother died and that really rocked her world. Cheryl didn't deal well with it and drug herself down a spiral that was very dangerous for her. To clear her head and help her get her act together, she decides to hike from Mojave, CA north. After she meets several interesting people, sees lots of beautiful things and faces many struggles along the way, she ends up at the Bridge of the Gods in Oregon.
I thought the book was pretty well written. I felt like I was right there, watching the movie of this book in my head the whole time I was reading! Then I watched the actual movie and I was disappointed. I like Reese Witherspoon and I think she did a great job portraying Cheryl Strayed. My girl crush on Reese may have been one of the reasons I even finished the movie. I know they have to cut things out of the story to fit the allotted time for a movie, but they cut out huge, important chunks of this story. I think that if I hadn't read the book first, I probably wouldn't have finished the movie. There were times when it dragged along and they could have put more of the people Cheryl met along the way. Instead there were long periods where Reese Witherspoon was hiking alone to the music in her head. Obviously the hiking is important, that's the bulk of the story, but I think they could have squeezed in a few more of the details from the book. If you haven't read the book or watched the movie, I say read the book, but you can pass on the movie.
Have you loved a book and not loved the movie?