When I first saw the title of this book, I knew it was going to be my next one to review. I mean, Mom always said nothing good happens after midnight, so naturally I had to find out what happened at 2 a.m. at the Cat's Pajamas.
What I found out is that this book is a strange, surprising delight. A little hard to get into at places, a little bizarre in others, but overall an interesting read.
It is told from the viewpoint of three separate characters, which gave me the most trouble. I'd just start really getting into one narrator's section and then it would switch to another. It wasn't smoothly done (like Dan Brown's novels, for instance); instead it was often jarring. Instead of leaving me even more excited to keep reading to get back to the original narrator, it just irritated me. My favorite part of reading is really getting to know the characters and become part of their world, but these characters felt very superficial at times.
I felt the biggest connection with the divorced teacher. I felt sorry for Madeleine, the ostensible main character, but I had a hard time actually liking her. The guys at the club, forget it. They weren't particularly likeable. Their "sections" were my least favorite. I really liked the dog's sections, too, but then, I really love dogs.
This book is a crazy mishmash of people and stories, brought together by the backdrop of Philadelphia at Christmas. Bertino's most masterful descriptions were of the city. I just wish some of her character descriptions and dialogue were done as nicely.
I can see this book not being a mainstream favorite, but I think it could have a definite little cult following. It's interesting and different, and those who are sick to death of the same old thing will undoubtedly love it.
The verdict: I see its merits, but it's not exactly my style. I give it a 3 out of 5.
Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are 100% my own.