I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
As a 29-year-old female reading a book (and a book within a book) portraying a complicated 29-year-old female (Starshine) there was definitely part of me that felt a sort of knee-jerk desire to defend Starshine's actions (though to whom I am not sure). And let me say, though, that I think there's a lot to be said for any piece of fiction that elicits strong reactions. My frustrations at/with some of the characters reflect Appel's ability to draw you into the world he creates. This book is meant
to be full of very biased impressions of the world. Both Starshine and the male protagonist/author, Larry Bloom, have reflective and self-centered (in the least pejorative sense of the word) narratives paired with the events of the day. [This, in and of itself, I think, is part of the beauty of the book in that it highlights how one person's life-changing moment is but a blip on the radar of the people surrounding them.] In some ways, the map (which I loved- I'm a big fan of maps) is a testament to a pervasive feeling that, regardless of who else occupies the spaces through which we navigate, we live in individual and, at times, seemingly separate worlds. (I lack the eloquence to describe what I'm getting after here- which is one of the reasons I so enjoyed the book.)
This is one of those books that I would certainly recommend and share with friends, especially those who know and love New York (although I do not count myself among this group).