Book Review: The Original 1982 by Lori Carson

original1982Title: The Original 1982
Author: Lori Carson
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Publisher: William Morrow
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: ARC from the publisher for a tour with TLC Book Tours
First line: Gabriel Luna has a Daily News rolled up in his back pocket.

Goodreads blurb: It’s 1982, and Lisa is twenty-four years old, a waitress, an aspiring singer-songwriter, and girlfriend to a famous Latin musician. That year, she makes a decision, almost without thinking about it.

But what if what if her decision had been a different one?

In the new 1982, Lisa chooses differently. Her career takes another direction. She becomes a mother. She loves differently, yet some things remain the same.

Alternating between two very different possibilities, The Original 1982 is a novel about how the choices we make affect the people we become-and about how the people we are affect the choices we make.

When I first heard of it, I absolutely loved the premise of The Original 1982. All of us can relate to the desire to rewrite a portion of our history, to remake that one certain choice. We all wonder, “What if?” from time to time. When the book came, though, and there was a picture of a baby on the cover, I thought, “Oh, no! It’s an abortion book.” When the premise of a book is rethinking a fateful choice, and the picture has a baby, well… It’s not that I purposely try to avoid the topic of abortion in fiction, but it is a very polarizing topic, and is difficult for people to handle with objectivity.

I had committed to this tour, though, and so I went ahead and dove in – and I’m glad I did. While I didn’t fall in love with this book, I did appreciate the story, and the objective, non-preachy way it was told. This was simply Lisa’s story, her exercise in “What if?” I love it when an author respects his or her readers enough to let them come to their own conclusions, and that is what Lori Carson has done.

Carson has some terrific writing chops. I think it was a disconnect between me and Lisa’s world that kept me from connecting more with the book, and with Lisa as a character, but I think that I am going to be in the minority with that opinion. I can see this book getting some raves, and it would be a great discussion starter for a brave book club.

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10 Responses to Book Review: The Original 1982 by Lori Carson

  1. Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
    Twitter: myeclecticbooks
    says:

    It definitely sounds like a pretty interesting premise! Glad to hear that you ended up enjoying it.

  2. I liked it a lot, and I think part of it is that I read it at the exact right time. I really liked the way she weaved experiences from her actual reality into her imagined past as well.

    I agree that the book was not in any way preachy but just honest about hard and complex these decisions are.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Amy – I found myself getting sad that the imagined reality wasn’t the real one.

  3. bermudaonion(Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion
    says:

    I love the premise and hope to read it soon.

  4. I know nothing about this book, but my first thought after reading the brief synopsis and seeing the cover that it was about adoption. Funny how we came to such different conclusions based on the cover. 🙂 I take it that it was about abortion, however? You’ve got me curious about this book as does Amy.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Wendy – that is interesting that we came to completely different assumptions!

  5. Pingback: Lori Carson, author of The Original 1982, on tour May/June 2013 | TLC Book Tours

  6. I’m glad that you were able to appreciate this book in spite of your concerns before starting it. Thanks for being on the tour.