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March 2013
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My First Short Story! – The Pink Sweater

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The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

My rating: 5 stars

After his release from a mental institution – the “bad place” – Pat Peoples, former history teacher, is left in the care of his mother and aloof father. Pat believes he was in the “bad place” for a handful of months rather than four years. Also, he has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And he believes it is his God-given mission to become physically fit and emotionally literate, to transform into the man Nikki, his estranged wife, would want. He is convinced God with ensure him a happy ending.
Pat makes a friend in Tiffany, the mentally unstable, widowed sister-in-law of his best friend, Ronnie. Each day Pat heads out for his ten-mile run and Tiffany silently trails him. The odd pair tries to navigate a timid friendship, but as Pat is unable to discern friend from foe and reality from deranged optimism, every day proves to be an adventure.
Pat Peoples had me from page one. He is a wide-eyed, innocent puppy dog that is only sure about two things: he never wants to go back to the “bad place” and he will do anything to get Nikki back. His extreme optimism fuels his actions and he is always looking for a silver lining. Matthew Quick’s simple and fast-paced writing style reflects Pat’s personality. Important factors of the story and plotline were never revealed too quickly; the novel leaves the reader questioning – what will happen next? – and always wanting more. Silver Linings Playbook was incredibly easy to read and was never boring.
This novel centers around Collingswood, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – which may be one of the reasons I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The majority of my family was from Philadelphia, and nearly all of them are fans of the Philadelphia Eagles football team. It was nice to read a book that took place in places that are just merely thirty minutes away from my home.
Okay, I admit it: the main reason I even picked up this novel was because of the great reviews (and many Grammys) the movie received. And when I first started reading, I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Now I understand why the movie was so popular! Aside from the gripping plotline, I found the characters incredibly interesting. Silver Linings Playbook offers an honest look inside the lives of two mentally ill people, without romanticizing or over-exaggerating any of the details. I found Pat and Tiffany’s stories to be refreshing and overall heartwarming. I can’t wait to see the movie!