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Book Reviews of Paint It Black

Paint It Black
Paint It Black
Author: Janet Fitch
ISBN-13: 9781860499715
ISBN-10: 1860499716
Publication Date: 3/1/2008
Pages: 448
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.

3 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Virago Press Ltd
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

15 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Paint It Black on
Helpful Score: 5
I expected a lot from 'Paint it Black' based on Finch's first novel, 'White Oleander', but I was disappointed with not only the content but also the style. While White Oleander was rich in themes and artistic elements, I found Paint it Black very shallow in comparison. However, as far as alluding to detailed images, and promoting participation on the readers behalf in creating those images, this book is successful.
reviewed Paint It Black on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I have gone back and read White Oleander at least once a year since I first read it six years ago. Paint it Black was a struggle to get through. I finished it, but that was more out of respect to the book than my own desire to finish it. It has glimmers of what made White Oleander so amazing, but it doesn't capture the same soul.
reviewed Paint It Black on
Helpful Score: 2
It dragged a little and was very depressing but I am very glad that I read this! It makes me so thankful that my significant other is still alive. I definitely suggest this book to others but only if you are prepared for a slightly dark look at life.

In the end: definitely worth the few hours it will take you to finish!
reviewed Paint It Black on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was really slow. I feel like everything that happened in the book, happened in the beginning. The rest was just depressing and seemed to drag on. Not anything like Janet Fitch's first book.
reviewed Paint It Black on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I am still not sure how I felt about this book. It is definitely not as good as White Oleander however, I did feel compelled to read the whole book to see how Josie turns out in the end. It is a dark read as the characters are grappling with a suicide of a loved one.
reviewed Paint It Black on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
i felt this book was good with the same descrtive elements of "white oleander" and similar themes of abandonment and self-preservation. although i did ultimately enjoy "white oleander" more, i did like her version of the early 80s punk scene, and her sensual writing style.
ALbookbugg avatar reviewed Paint It Black on
Helpful Score: 1
After reading White Oleander, I was so excited to have the cahnce to read another Janet Fitch book. Unfortunately, disappointment set in quickly after I started reading this book. It drags...and drags...and drags some more. I found myself wishing for something, anything to happen! I was hoping that someone would die in a tragic crash, hoping that a pyscho killer would murder someone, or even hoping for the main character to be abducted by aliens. But, alas, nothing ever happened. What a snoozer...!
ladysarina avatar reviewed Paint It Black on + 38 more book reviews
This has got to be one of the most descriptively, dark, eye-opening books I have ever read. I tried to think of one part that truly stood out to me, and my mind just kept jumping from scene to scene. This book is not for the faint-hearted, you will cry, you will laugh, you will set it down and walk away from the bleakness.... but you WILL come back. 4 Stars because I think it stalled in places.
reviewed Paint It Black on + 77 more book reviews
My 17 year old says this is one of her favorite books, along with White Oleander.
shootingstar985 avatar reviewed Paint It Black on + 13 more book reviews
I read three chapters and I gave up. Despite all the drama of the punk scene, I was bored. I definitely liked 'White Oleander' by the author better.
reviewed Paint It Black on
This book was too dark, too depressing and the main character needed to get over herself. Well-written, but not suitable for enjoyment or anyone with a positive attitude towards life. This was a book club read for me, I would never pick this book up and now having read it, wouldn't read anything else by Janet Fitch again. Would not recommend.
scmomof3girls avatar reviewed Paint It Black on + 6 more book reviews
I read White Oleander and was excited to find out there was another book out by the same author. The day I got it in the mail, I dove in. I have to say this is the first book I have ever not finished. I made it about 2/3 or so through before I gave up, because I was so bored. I was extremely disappointed. I think I would have considered a book about the life of an earth worm more exciting.
reviewed Paint It Black on + 3 more book reviews
This book is written by the same author who wrote White Oleander. The main character is Josie Tyrell. Her boyfriend commits suicide in the beginning of the book, driving to a dessert motel to do so. For the rest of the over 300 pages she is on a quest to try to heal, and maybe put the pieces together about why he did it. I found Michael (the boyfriends) to be a sullen, sour, prissy brat. But I did like the character of Josie. There are some old family secrets uncovered, etc, but it feels like there were so many opportunities for it to get much more exciting. It nver really did. All in all it was a decent book. Just not one I would read again. The last 20 or so pages were downright painful to get through.
MzReader88 avatar reviewed Paint It Black on
I have to say to start with, that I am a fan of Janet Fitch's writing style and the way she incorporates the arts into her novels. White Oleander is by far one of my favorite books and will never leave my collection. I'm also a believer in the notion that if someone writes a spectacular book like the latter, that I won't judge so harshly their next book. Who knows if she has another one of those in her, and maybe she didn't want to go back down the same path she did with White Oleander. Who knows? With that being said, I found the book dragged on with the emotional descriptions and cultural references. It was bleak and there wasn't very much going on. Maybe if she would've went on tour with Meridith or something there would've been more substance. I also started hating her boyfriend because the whole book was basically spent describing him and his many idiosyncrasies. I would've liked to have known more about Josie. I'm probably going to give it a re-read and then post it on here.
CompulsiveBookBuyer avatar reviewed Paint It Black on + 41 more book reviews
I wrote this review for Amazon:

"Paint It Black" is a brutal portrayal of a woman who can't mourn in the culturally acceptable way. I read reviews that complained about Josie being self absorbed and how this novel droned on and on and on - depression is a self absorbed condition/desease and when the death is so unexpected, it's hard to believe that someone can easily move on and find someone else. If you don't understand depression and if you don't understand grief on a larger scale, this book will probably bore you and piss you off a bit.

I loved this book not only for a beautifully brutal portrayal of little seen grief, but also for the cultural references that were mentioned in regards to the shaping of this character and how they blended with her moods.

I saw that what some reviewers didn't understand was the eventual relationship between Josie and Meredith; to someone who knows what it's like to have nowhere else to go and no one else to turn to, this relationship, as uncomfortable and just plain odd as it may be, makes sense. These two women were the only ones who had any idea of what the other was going through; this helps them slowly barrel through their hatred and distrust for each other.

I saw this book as a description of a young woman who finally found something meaningful in her life and had it ripped away without warning, which lead to a total upheaval of her life. This book is about her struggle to obtain some semblance of a life of/on her own. It is a painful read but well worth the time it takes to read it.