Book Review: ‘Life on the Refrigerator Door’ by Alice Kuipers

Book Title: Life on the Refrigerator Door

Author: Alice Kuipers

Genre: Realism

Summary: A novel told in the form of notes left on the refrigerator door between mother and daughter as they deal with “every day” life and the life that happens to you when you least expect it.

Favourite Scene: The novel doesn’t really have “scenes” as it’s told in notes. You can’t really mark the passage of time, though there is some attempt at demonstrating the mother and daughter have met between notes with references to conversations they’ve had.

Favourite Character: Between Claire and her mother, there aren’t many characters to get to know. There are references to friends and other family members, but I especially love Peter – the pet rabbit!

Review:  The concept of “a novel in notes” is fantastic and the novel has won the Redbridge Teenage Book Award and been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal. Having been one of those daughters who communicated (and still does!) with her mother through notes on the kitchen bench or refrigerator door, I immediately found the concept appealing and knew it would be a novel to share with Mum. I felt a bit disappointed when I opened the novel, however, and found the text printed neatly across the page, glaringly formal and out of place compared to the hand-drawn images that accompanied it. I thought the design really let the novel down as I imagined seeing actual notes on the pages, scribbled on post-its and torn out notebook pages and blank paper pulled from the printer in a rush … that’s how our notes look, anyway. The actual story that takes place through the notes is touching and tragic, yet I found the notes a little too specific, too much like a narrative and not enough like a note. I enjoyed it, but when I handed it to my mother I didn’t really have anything positive to say other than “this made me think of us”. Sentimental, but it’s not something I feel I can rave about.

8 comments on “Book Review: ‘Life on the Refrigerator Door’ by Alice Kuipers

  1. I disagree profusely, the book was original, quirky and I could defiantly rave on about it! I am disappointed to see you do not share my love of this book, but not every one enjoys the same things. I felt I should a put in a good word in for the sake of the book though, as it holds a very special place on my book shelf.

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on the novel. 🙂

      What I didn’t like about the book is that it IS an original concept but I thought the design let it down. I love quirky books and the concept is very unique.

      Have you read her other novels? What did you think of them?

      • haha, no I had not read “Life on the refrigerator door” until quite recently but I am keeping an eye open for more of Alice’s books. Any you would suggest?

      • Pure curiosity! I’ve read “40 Things I Want to Tell You”, her latest book. I actually couldn’t stand the plot and characters so I was wondering if you’d read it and liked it – I enjoy hearing why people like books I didn’t so I can challenge WHY I didn’t like the book and reconsider it with a fresh perspective! If you ever do read it, I’d love to know what you think 🙂

    • Aw, thank you! I have to actually go through and properly catch up on comments and awards! How exciting!

      I hope you enjoy reading it – let me know what you think! I still wish it was more … hrm, note-y!

      • haha, no I had not read “Life on the refrigerator door” until quite recently but I am keeping an eye open for more of Alice’s books. Any you would suggest?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s