rva_reader's review against another edition
erinbro1's review against another edition
Despite all this, something was missing for me. One of the most fascinating parts of Westover's story is her eventual struggle to trust her own memories after she finally breaks away from the abuse that's so prevalent in her home. Perhaps because of this battle, Westover's voice comes across a little detached and disconnected sometimes, and I did not feel close to her as a narrator. So, while I was moved by her strength and determination, I didn't feel like I truly got to know her.
yvo_about_books's review against another edition
Finished reading: November 14th 2018
“My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occured to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.”
It's unpopular opinion time again... You've been warned.
I have been looking forward to finally read Educated for months now, especially after reading so many glowing reviews. This is probably one of the reasons my expectations might have been too high, that and the fact that this memoir has been compared to The Glass Castle. The fact is: I was quite underwhelmed by all of it. This was not what I was expecting, and I feel sad for feeling this way, but it is what it is... I'm going to try and explain the reasons why. First of all, I know that I'm a skeptical person, and I don't tend to believe things easily just because they are written down on paper. I also had a hard time believing Tara Westover's story as it was written down. Please don't tell me I'm implying she is a liar, which I'm not. I do believe that she wrote Educated based on her memories, memories that can have gotten distorted over time especially if her early life has been such a struggle. And I really had to take her story with a whole lot of grains of salt to be able to continue reading. Like I said, I'm not saying she hasn't had a tough life, or that her family didn't do what they did, just that I didn't find her story as told credible. I mean, for a survivalist family living in the mountains they sure have a lot of luxuries including at some point even a phone, TV and internet (not talking about the enormous mansion they seem to be having in the end). Her family life definitely wasn't standard, with them not even having a birth certificate for a long time, not going to school and working in the junkyard etc etc. But I would rather call it eccentric for the most part instead. Also, at one point she describes her father as bipolar, something that is never confirmed as the same disease prevents him getting a medical diagnose. Still, I would have liked to have seen this angle developed further rather than just throwing the 'bipolar' word out and leave it at that. Another thing that bothered me were the many many serious accidents, a few life threatening, and somehow they are all healed with essential oils and other herbal cures? I do believe in holistic treatments along with medical care, but this is just getting too hard to believe. (I'm not saying they weren't injured, just that the injuries maybe weren't as bad as they remembered?) Anyhow, this reckless behavior and indifference towards general safety of others and the 'miracle' recoveries were just too much for the skeptical person in me to handle. Another thing I found hard to believe? Where all the money came from. First we are told they are poor, then money starts popping up everywhere somehow. I can get why her childhood chapters are a bit vague about money, but how on earth did she get the money together to get into a prestigious college and university? I know there are grants, but they don't cover it all and it is a LOT of money we are talking about and very prestigious and expensive education. I mean, she goes to the UK and studies abroad for a long time? And then travels back and forth between the US and the UK multiple times? The flights alone cost a fortune, and surely aren't covered by grants. A real mystery to me. There is also the question how she got into college in the first place, especially since she was never really educated at home in the first place. Somehow being able to get a superhigh score just by teaching herself advanced math and everything else in the test just doesn't come over as credible to the skeptical me. Maybe she had a higher level of education than stated in the memoir before she started preparing herself for the test? I don't know, but as it is Educated wasn't at all credible to me. I'm not saying her being able to get her degrees isn't admirable, and I'm sure she's had a hard life especially with her despicable brother Shawn (I'm not even going into the abuse and her brother here, or we could still be talking tomorrow), but sadly her memoir wasn't able to convince me.
P.S. Find more of my reviews here.
snapdragonsiren's review against another edition
squatruhh's review against another edition
Graphic: Domestic abuse, Fire/Fire injury, Emotional abuse, Cursing, Gaslighting, Misogyny, Sexism, Toxic relationship, Injury/injury detail, Racial slurs, Religious bigotry, Grief, Body shaming, Child abuse, Medical trauma, Mental illness, and Physical abuse
iinasomnia's review against another edition
Graphic: Sexism, Religious bigotry, Abandonment, Animal death, Blood, Body horror, Bullying, Car accident, Child abuse, Domestic abuse, Emotional abuse, Gaslighting, Injury/injury detail, Mental illness, Medical trauma, Physical abuse, Racial slurs, Racism, Violence, and Fire/Fire injury
Moderate: Cancer, Death, and Cursing
Minor: War, Slavery, Pregnancy, and Dementia
andreajohnson's review against another edition
hilsaa's review against another edition