Arts and Entertainment

Book Review: The Best Place on Earth



Ayelet Tsabari’s The Best Place on Earth is an engaging short story collection. But don’t be fooled by the title: most of the stories in the book take place somewhere where the character wishes they were not.

By Annie McClure The Activist guest reviewer

The Best Place on Earth introduces new characters in each story. The characters in the stories all struggle to fit in with their surroundings and seem to struggle with a sort of depression from different events they’ve faced in their lives, like violence, identity, love interests, and more.

My favorite part of the book was the short story, “Say It Again, Something else.” The main character Lily is new to Israel from Vancouver and wants nothing more than to go back to where she’s from and on top of that she’s lost her mother. Lily lacks many friends and the friend she has made wants Lily to change her appearance to fit in, in her new home. Lily doesn’t know who she is and what she wants, she struggles with a sense of abandonment. This was by far my favorite story from the book because it was the most interesting and exciting.  

This book helps readers understand many different things. The book helps readers to learn what it may be like living somewhere else. This book also helps readers to understand how people might deal with hard times in their lives. Readers may also get a sense of what it may feel like for someone who is going through something like losing someone. The book helps readers to understand that just because someone doesn’t show they are upset, or hurting doesn’t mean they aren’t.

The books main strength is that it tells multiple different stories. In each story, the characters are different, the setting, and what the character is going through in life. This makes the book interesting while still keeping it simple. If you didn’t like the story from one story there was always another opportunity to like the story line in the next story you read. You weren’t ever stock reading about the same thing. The stories were also short and easy to follow along, so I never found myself getting bored while reading. As for this book, its only weakness would it may be hard for some readers to relate with. In each story, the characters were going through what seemed like pretty hard times, which some readers may find hard to relate with. 

I can’t pick a favorite quote from this collection. Because each story was so different, it was too hard to choose one that would show what the story was about as a whole.

I would first recommend this book to older readers. This book talks about more mature subjects like sex, abortion, death, which wouldn’t be something young children should read. I would also recommend this book to anyone who does enjoy books that are not your typical happy ending stories.  I would recommend this book to those who enjoy realistic fiction. And lastly, I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys short stories. The stories are all very interesting and even though they are short, you still a very good storyline. 

My rating for the book would be 4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed this book. The book was simple and easy to read, so I didn’t find myself bored while reading. I also really enjoyed how each story was different from the last, it kept things interesting. The story is also easy to comprehend, even though it was about places that I was unfamiliar with. The only reason I wouldn’t give it a 5 out of 5 is because I didn’t personally enjoy each story and I found some to be very boring.

About McClure’s rating system:

I rate each book I review out of 5 stars. All of my ratings are strictly opinion based. I base these ratings on whether or not I enjoy the book, how easy the book is easy to read, whether I learned or got something out of reading the book, and lastly, what the book didn’t do or did do well.

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