I read J. K. Rowling's 'novel for grownups' when it came out in September. And man! That was some book. I haven't stopped thinking about The Casual Vacancy since then. I really loved it, but I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. My mom, for instance. My mom who crazy-loves Harry Potter would probably hate it. And maybe that has something to do with the TWO HUNDRED AND ELEVEN F-words. (Thank you, Kindle, for giving me the exact number when I searched.) Oh, and the sex and the abuse and the drugs and the SEX. If you do decide to read this book, you are going to need a lot of chocolate because The Casual Vacancy is one long dementor's kiss.
Again, let me restate that I loved this book. Even though it had some extremely depressing moments. There are no perfect characters. This is the real Fifty Shades of Grey. No one in this book is either fully black or white. Okay, maybe some of them are 100% certifiably awful. But even the characters in the book that were likable, were not perfect. Far from it. My favorite character was the town slut, teenager Krystal Weedon. She was plucky and brave and ever-striving to make things better for her life and her family despite her situation. I heart Krystal Weedon! Probably a good third of those f-bombs came from Krystal Weedon's plucky, dirty mouth. I think it would be funny to stitch Krystal's version of a wizard swear. Some day. When I am in the mood to embroider so much NSFW hilarity, I will let Krystal fill in the bleeps of the Elder Swear.
In my opinion, The Casual Vacancy is one big Eff You! to all of the Potterheads who didn't get the underlying themes of classism and bigotry in the Harry Potter books. J. K. Rowling makes her politics perfectly clear in The Casual Vacancy. She is a flaming liberal. (Yay!)
Like I said, this book is not for everyone. The easiest way for you to know if you would like this book or not is to ask yourself how much it bothered you when Rowling said that Dumbledore was gay. If it bugged you a lot, skip this book. If you thought that a gay wizard was super fab, read this book.
I love you J. K. Rowling. And I think that if Harry Potter had to take on Krystal Weedon, she would kick his ass.