The Tiger's Wife - Téa Obreht I think after this review I will actually be caught up on my reviews for the first time in like two months.I dedicate this review to my lovely friend Seth, because a) he asked me to, and b) because he reads and supports all my reviews so awesomely.So, I was quite excited to read this. There was much hype over The Tiger's Wife mostly due to the fact that the author, Téa Obreht, is only 26 and is the youngest author to make the New York Time's "Twenty Under Twenty". I both love and hate her for this, being a young wannabe author myself. To make it worse, she's prettier than me. Although she kind of resembles a Kewpie doll. Okay ... I fail at presenting evidence, obviously.But anyway, the point is ... just look at her! You can't help but be jealous!*Ah-hem* As for the book itself.First of all––NO. THIS BOOK IS IN NO WAY RELATED TO THE TIGER MOM. You have no idea how many people asked me when I was reading this at school. "Hmmm, Tiger's Wife. Is that about the Tiger Mom? LOLZ LOLZ LOLZ."*eyeroll* In actuality, The Tiger's Wife is about two young doctors in the Balkans following civil war––one of which is our main character, Natalia. The book follows Natalia's journey as she tries to figure out the mystery surrounding her grandfather's death. She does so by recalling stories her grandfather used to tell her, involving "the deathless man" and "the tiger's wife", among other characters. The product is a detailed, fable-like story, which weaves together several tales to create one big picture.This is an original novel with a lot of depth and detail. Obreht's writing is excellent, and the grandfather's stories are compelling. The atmosphere of the story is intriguing and surreal––leaving the reader (and Natalia) to wonder which parts of the grandfather's story are true and which are false––and whether it matters. (Now that I think about it, it's a bit like Tim Burton's film "Big Fish".)Although I think this is a nicely detailed and well-written novel, I didn't feel much of a connection to it. In some ways, it felt a little too detailed. At some point in the middle, I was like, "ACK! Could this book get any more complicated?" And right after I thought it, the next sentence was something like, But to understand this, you have to know about his entire childhood ... Sometimes there were unnecessarily long tangents about characters who weren't terribly important. Also, the grandfather's stories became quite a distraction from the main plot. I found myself wanting to know more about the grandfather, the deathless man, and the tiger's wife than I wanted to know about Natalia––who, in the end, was a pretty boring character. She was a vehicle for propelling the story along, but as a character she wasn't adequately developed in my opinion. It seemed Obreht was too caught up in creating the grandfather's story, and didn't give enough attention to making Natalia interesting or likable enough as a narrator. Over all, I have mixed feelings. I like the premise, I like the writing, and I like the backstory. The problem is a somewhat overcomplicated plot and the lack of characterization. I'd say this is worth a read, but I'm not promising anyone they'll be amazed.