I must confess that I only found out about this book after seeing the trailer for its film adaptation. This is Where I Leave You is an adult contemporary novel and is therefore not at all the sort of book that I'd usually go for but the trailer made it look like such a hilarious and fun story that it made me want to step out of my comfort zone.
Overall this book was an engaging read but I had very mixed feelings about it and I actually enjoyed the film adaptation more (and yes I did read the book first!) The book was touching at times, there were some meaningful themes and profound, thought-provoking observations in the writing, and I did find it funny. The book never really made me properly laugh out loud but it certainly had me smiling and sniggering. Philip and Hilary were my favourite characters in this book since they seemed to get all of the funniest/craziest lines and moments :D
But unfortunately I also found this book to be very problematic at times and that affected my enjoyment of the story. The narrator Judd is constantly lusting after the women that he sees in this book and, although I got that this is only because he's sexually frustrated and lonely, this did start to become annoying and repetitive after a while. And I was also very weirded-out by a sex scene in this book. Judd's sister-in-law and ex-girlfriend Alice is so desperate for a baby that at one point she sneaks into Judd's room and tries to persuade him to have sex with her. Judd makes it very clear that he's uncomfortable with the idea and even says "no" but Alice completely ignores his objections and forces herself onto him anyway... which makes it a rape scene. But what really bothered me was that afterwards Judd and Alice barely acknowledge what's happened between them :S It's not that I think rape shouldn't be presented in fiction - even though I do tend to avoid stories which feature it - but it's something that needs to be handled with respect and sensitivity and to be completely essential to the plot. It's not at all something that should be handled in a light, casual manner and the fact that this book didn't treat it with the care that it deserved was extremely disappointing.