top 5 wednesday: Favorite “Unlikable” Protagonists

Hey guys, I’m back! Before I get to this week’s T5W, just a quick note: I haven’t spent very much time online these past 10 days, and it’s probably going to take me a couple of days to get caught up on everything and I’m sure there’s a lot I’m still going to miss, so if there’s anything you really want me to see for whatever reason – your reviews, tags, awards, comments I haven’t responded to, etc. – just leave a comment here with the link, I would really appreciate it. Thanks!!!

Now let’s get to it.

Top Five Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Check out the goodreads group to learn more.

June 21st: Favorite “Unlikeable” Protagonists: People always tear down “unlikeable” protagonists. But tell us the ones you pulled for!

I love this topic. I have to admit, I find myself often defending books with ‘unlikable’ characters. To me, a good character isn’t someone I necessarily want to be friends with, but rather, someone who’s well-developed, intriguing, and multi-faceted.  I love each and every one of these characters, even when I don’t particularly like them.

30900136Ava Antipova (Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach). The first thing I tell people who are considering whether or not to read Dead Letters is that if you can’t deal with unlikable characters, you’re going to hate this book. Dead Letters features one of the most dysfunctional family dynamics I’ve ever seen, and this story is filled to the brim with characters who are compelling but at times rather loathsome. The protagonist Ava is no exception. She’s occasionally selfish, hypocritical, and holier than thou… and yet, she is one of the most compelling characters I’ve ever seen.  For all her flaws, she has just as many virtues, and she’s three-dimensional enough that I found myself relating to quite a few aspects of her character, even when I didn’t really want to.  For all fans of literary fiction who like their characters as aggravatingly realistic as possible, Dead Letters is a must read.

29441096Ryan Cusack (The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney).  Ugh, my heart hurts just thinking about this character.  At a glance, Ryan is hard to love.  He’s a teenage drug dealer who’s apathetic about his future; he cares deeply about his girlfriend Karine but doesn’t always know how to show it, and ends up making some stupid mistakes.  But what Lisa McInerney does so expertly in this book is depict crime and poverty as a vicious, multi-generational cycle.  It’s clear that Ryan is the way he is because of the way he was raised – and his father is the way he is because of the way he was raised, etc., and it’s heartbreaking because of how unavoidable it all seems.  But there’s still so much good in this character who’s somehow managed to not be irrevocably damaged by everything he’s gone through, and for that reason, I managed to root for Ryan through all his many ups and downs.

41cigepew5l-_sy344_bo1204203200_Richard Papen (The Secret History by Donna Tartt).  My knee-jerk reaction to thinking about Richard Papen is ‘ugh, Richard,’ but when I think about it – what would The Secret History have been without him?  Richard anchors this story together in a way that’s absolutely essential to the narrative.  He’s the outsider coming into this tight-knit group of friends, and his instant idolization of their group dynamic is what really allows the story to be set into motion.  Richard’s mere presence in a lot of ways was a catalyst – his idolization in some ways being the justification they all needed to do the things they managed to do.  Richard is self-centered, and willfully blind to horrible things that he had been in a position to prevent, but still he makes for a compelling protagonist.  Surrounded by wealth and luxury, Richard himself comes from a poor background, and this class difference plays heavily into the way he interacts with this group of friends, and it’s difficult to fully condemn him when the temptation to do what they did is laid out so clearly for the reader.

220px-the_girl_on_the_train_28us_cover_201529Rachel (The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins). I’m still somewhat conflicted about this book, but amid all my mixed feelings, there is one certainty: I love Rachel. I love her. Maybe I was predisposed to like her because we share a name, or maybe I just appreciated seeing such an openly flawed female character in such a mainstream novel – I’m not sure what exactly it was, but I was instantly drawn to Rachel.  Make no mistake, she is frustrating as all hell.  She’s an alcoholic who doesn’t care much about how her addiction affects the lives of those around her, she’s a complete busybody, she’s obsessed with her ex to a positively annoying degree… and yet, all of these things make for one of the most realistic protagonists I’ve ever encountered.  At times I want to take her by the shoulders and shake some sense into her, but at the same time, I found it so refreshing to read about a female character who’s been afforded the same depth as so many famous male protagonists.

tender-by-belinda-mckeonCatherine (Tender by Belinda McKeon).  Catherine is so easy to loathe… almost too easy, in fact.  Because to loathe her is to distance yourself as a reader from her many complexities, and I for one would be hypocritical to not own up to the many ways that I related to this character.  Her obsessiveness is almost frighteningly realistic – Tender is told in terse, frantic prose which deteriorates the further you read, as Catherine becomes more and more mentally unstable.  She does some things that are morally reprehensible, and I want to condemn her for them, but I really can’t in good conscience.  This is a book about all the ugly sides of human nature, and you have to be willing to own up to them, because Catherine is almost unnervingly real.

Who are some of your favorite unlikable protagonists?  Comment and let me know!  And again, comment if there’s anything I missed these past 10 days that you’d like me to see!

vacation hiatus

NYC vacation from June 10 – 19!  Yay!

I’ll still be reading your posts and comments with the WordPress app, but probably no posts or reviews from me until I get back.

Before I go, very important question: What’s your favorite bookstore in NYC?  Other than The Strand because that’s obvious.  I always spend hours in The Strand, but I want to check out some other bookstores this time!

And, books aside, what’s your favorite thing to do in New York?  I don’t necessarily need recommendations, because I’ve been there quite a few times and done most of the main touristy stuff by now, but I’d love to hear some of your favorite things to do in the city 🙂

The Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag

I’ve been seeing this tag going around and was initially going to use Thrice Read‘s open-ended ‘do this if you want’ tag as an excuse to do it, but halfway through writing this post I also got tagged by Steph – thanks guys!

Question 1 – The best book you’ve read so far in 2017

There have been a lot of great ones so far, so it’s hard to choose!  I’m leaning toward East of Eden by John Steinbeck or Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.  (Incidentally, I actually found a lot of similarities between these two.)

Question 2 – Your favorite sequel of the year

None, so far!  The only ‘sequel’ (more of a companion novel really) I’ve read so far is Roses of May, Dot Hutchinson’s sequel/companion to The Butterfly Garden, but I didn’t like it very much.  Looking forward to The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin (sequel to The Fifth Season) and Lady Cop Makes Trouble (sequel to Girl Waits with Gun) by Amy Stewart, whenever I get around to those.  Hopefully by the end of the year.

Question 3 – A new release that you haven’t read but really want to

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Oh god, too many.  Human Acts by Han Kang.  I’m also obsessed with this cover, so I really want to buy a copy.

Question 4 –  Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

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Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.  I was so enamored with her debut Everything I Never Told You.

Question 5 – Your biggest disappointment 

Either White Fur by Jardine Libaire or An Untamed State by Roxane Gay.  I think these are my only two 1-star reads so far this year.  With White Fur, I found the writing pretentious and the characters insufferable.  Full review here.  With An Untamed State, I thought it was a really simplistic look at a lot of complicated issues, and I ended up being really offended by the voyeuristic way that numerous scenes of sexual assault were depicted.

Question 6 – Biggest surprise of the year 

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Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge.  It was such a simple little book that shouldn’t have wowed me as much as it did, but I was really emotionally invested in these characters.

Question 7 – Favourite new to you or debut author

I was really impressed with M.L. Rio’s debut If We Were Villains, which I was happy about since I’d been following her on various social media for a while and was already invested in her book doing well.  I also look forward to reading anything else by Caite Dolan-Leach, who wrote Dead Letters.

Question 8 – Your new fictional crush

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I don’t really have fictional crushes?!  If anything probably Alexander the Great from Mary Renault’s Fire from Heaven.  Not fictional, but still.

Question 9 – New favourite character

Question 10 – A book that made you cry 

None so far this year!

Question 11 – A comic book that made you happy

I don’t do comic books.

Question 12 – Your favourite book to movie adaptation that you’ve seen this year

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I haven’t actually read the book this was based off, but Lion was all kinds of amazing and it absolutely destroyed me in the best possible way.

Question 13 – Favourite book post you’ve done this year

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Probably my review of House of Names by Colm Toibin.

Question 14 – The most beautiful book you have bought/received this year

All of these beauties.

Question 15 – What are some books you need to read by the end of the year

Oh god.  Too many.  I don’t want to think about it.  See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt, Yesterday by Felicia Yap, and The First Day by Phil Harrison for Netgalley, and then just… whatever else I get from Netgalley; whatever other publisher ARCs I get; whatever Book of the Month chooses next; whatever else I feel like reading.

Tagging you, if you haven’t already done this!  Pingback to me here so I can read it!

top 5 wednesday: Books for your Hogwarts House

Top Five Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Check out the goodreads group to learn more.

June 7th: Books For Your Hogwarts House: Show your Hogwarts House Pride, and tell us the top 5 books that represent your house!

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Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
If you’ve a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind.

I know there’s nothing particularly original about being a book nerd who identifies as Ravenclaw, but oh well.  I’ve always been decently ‘book smart’ (except where Chemistry is concerned, but let’s not talk about that), but more important than any innate intelligence I may or may not possess, I never seem to be satisfied with merely consuming media without engaging with it on a critical level.  That’s why I started writing book reviews in the first place – primarily to have somewhere to get all my thoughts down, because regardless of whether I loved or hated a book, my mind is always racing when I read.  I may have gotten really burned out with school toward the end there, but I’m always going to love learning.

(If you’re interested, the order that I identify with each house is: Ravenclaw > Slytherin > Hufflepuff >>>>> Gryffindor.)

Anyway, let’s get to it!  I think these books would be Ravenclaws, too.

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The Secret History by Donna Tartt: This is an obvious one, but I had to include it.  Donna Tartt’s intelligent prose alone would earn this book a spot at the Ravenclaw table, but then when you throw in the subject matter – a group of pretentious classics nerds at an elite liberal arts school who want their lives to play out like a Greek drama – it’s hard to argue that this book belongs anywhere else.

517iynhfy5lThe Awakening by Kate Chopin: The Awakening is an early feminist novel about a woman who becomes dissatisfied with her marriage.  While the subject matter isn’t particularly innovative or shocking today, Kate Chopin is one of the first authors to lend such a daring portrayal of independence to her female protagonist.  I think this book belongs in Ravenclaw because the ‘awakening’ that the heroine Edna undergoes has to do with questioning the limitations of her own life, as well as the role of women in late 1800s society.  It’s not a book about action, but reflection, and how quiet reflection leads to a change in the way Edna lives her life.

6460814Ransom by David Malouf: What, a top 5 Wednesday where I don’t include the Iliad???  The Iliad is clearly a Gryffindor.  Alas.  Fortunately though, we have found a loophole, which is: being able to talk about the Iliad anyway.  Hooray!  Ransom is Australian writer David Malouf’s retelling of books XXII-XXIV of the Iliad, which focuses on the conflict between Priam and Achilles.  Achilles has killed Hector, Trojan prince, and has been dragging Hector’s body around the city walls of Troy, so Hector’s father, Priam, crosses battle lines to approach Achilles and ransom his son’s body.  While the Iliad is all rage and bloodlust and battle scenes, Ransom puts a quiet and contemplative spin on this famous tale.

33564The Crazed by Ha Jin: Do you ever finish reading something and think ‘I am too stupid for this book’?  That was me and The Crazed.  This is one of the most erudite things I’ve ever read.  Steeped in Chinese literary history, the intertextuality in this book is layered and masterful.  It’s hard to understand everything Ha Jin is trying to say in a single reading of The Crazed – this is the kind of book that could probably use five re-readings, as well as an intimate knowledge of multiple other texts before approaching it.

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The Vegetarian by Han Kang: The Vegetarian is one of my favorite books that I read last year, about a South Korean woman who stops eating meat in reaction to a violent dream.  This book is complex and layered – it raises questions about violence, sexuality, mental illness, social norms – and it gives no easy answers.  This is a book meant to stimulate and challenge the reader to think critically about the questions it poses, and my Ravenclaw brain loved the sheer amount of thematic complexity here.

So, what’s your Hogwarts house?  And which books do you think belong there?  Comment and let me know!

book review: The Former Chief Executive by Kate Vane

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THE FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE by Kate Vane
★★★★
Self-published, June 8, 2017

The Former Chief Executive is a short and sweet little book. It tells the story of Deborah Stevens, a retired former hospital manager who’s just lost her husband to cancer. She hires young and charismatic Luca to look after her late husband’s garden, and the two forge a strange sort of friendship.

Despite the simple premise, there’s a lot going on in this book. The generational gap between Deborah and Luca takes center stage; an issue that Kate Vane tackles with insight and sensitivity, as she examines each of their distinct approaches to life. There’s arguably more nuance here than I’ve seen given to this sort of narrative before. Even though our protagonist is older, this isn’t a story which maligns millennials for laziness – on the other hand, Kate Vane acknowledges a lot of advantages that Deborah’s generation had.

This book is also an interesting meditation on mortality. While Luca’s girlfriend, Belle, is due to give birth in a short time, Luca is training to be a “death midwife,” someone who helps provide emotional support to terminally ill patients. Birth and death run parallel in this novel, which is ultimately a reflection on life itself, on whether anyone ever really knows what they’re doing.

Though mostly solid, the prose could stand a bit of polishing here and there. Little things – a few too many exclamation points and question marks outside of dialogue for my personal taste (despite the third person narration this is a very introspective book which reads like Deborah’s thoughts unfolding – a narrative voice which Kate Vane employs consistently, though it does start to grate at times when Deborah continues to muse to herself in the form of question after question). My only other complaint is that I thought it ended on a note that was incongruously abrupt given the pace up until that point.

That said, I was really charmed by this book. It’s a really brilliant character study that weaves together a host of distinct and memorable characters. Deborah is certainly flawed – proud, judgmental – but I liked her even more for that, because I love female characters who have all the complexity of real women. This was a great and thought-provoking quick read. I really enjoyed it.

Many thanks to the author for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my feedback in any way. All opinions are my own.

Goodreads || Amazon || Kate Vane

book (play script) review: The Lieutenant of Inishmore by Martin McDonagh

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THE LIEUTENANT OF INISHMORE by Martin McDonagh
★★★★
Bloomsbury, 2001
Review on Goodreads

This is probably McDonagh’s most absurd work, which is saying something. The Lieutenant of Inishmore is a farcical look at Irish terrorist organizations, set on the island of Inishmore in the Aran Islands in the early 1990s. The play focuses on a cycle of small-town bloody revenge set into motion by the death of an INLA man’s beloved cat.

As usual, much of McDonagh’s humor relies on the irony behind corrupt morality – in this case, we meet Padraic, who’s literally in the middle of torturing a man when he gets a call that his cat Wee Thomas is poorly. (It’s reminiscent of Woody Harrelson’s character in Seven Psychopaths, a violent gangster who’s unnaturally attached to his shih tzu Bonny, or Ralph Fiennes’ character in In Bruges, a hitman with a selectively rigid moral code.) But even though McDonagh likes to revisit similar themes time and again, it never gets old for me. He fuses comedy and tragedy/morality and violence in such a uniquely striking way, each of his plays approaching the theme from a distinct angle. And while most of his plays are rather silly on the surface, there’s something so much darker lying beneath, and that’s what he really excels at with Inishmore.

Better than The Cripple of Inishmaan; not as good as The Pillowman. Major trigger warning for animal death (which for some reason doesn’t bother me so much in this particular brand of absurdist comedy).

book review: The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney

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THE GLORIOUS HERESIES by Lisa McInerney
★★★★★
Penguin Random House, 2017
Review on Goodreads

I hold onto her and tell her I love her and tell her I’ll do anything she wants me to do but beyond my words and her weight in my arms there’s the knowing we fucked this up. There was something beautiful here once.

This is one of the most hard-hitting and thematically rich books I’ve read in a long time. There’s so much to unpack here, I’m not quite sure where to begin.

The Glorious Heresies centers around five characters: fifteen-year-old drug dealer Ryan and his alcoholic father Tony, grandmother Maureen and her gangster son Jimmy, and a prostitute named Georgie. The way these characters relate to one another is complicated, tangled. They weave in and out of each other’s lives, implicitly connected by a single act that occurs in the first chapter: Maureen discovers an intruder in her home, and, startled, she hits him over the head, killing him. The consequences of this unplanned murder unfold over the course of the novel, which spans several years, in the city of Cork.

Lisa McInerney’s debut novel is an unflinching examination of the cycle of poverty that drives crime in modern day Ireland. This book not only explores the complex web of social dynamics that breeds crime and corruption, but pays particular attention to the way this is manifested across generations. Is someone truly responsible for the way they raise their children, if they too were a victim of society’s moral and structural failings? Where and how does the cycle end? These are the questions McInerney raises while examining this group of broken individuals living on the fringes of society. Crime and religion are so heavily intertwined in these pages it’s hard to know where one ends and the other begins, as McInerney fearlessly dissects these themes as thoroughly as possible in this not-quite-400 page novel.

The Glorious Heresies is bleak and profane and at times quite depressing. But it’s also darkly comedic and hopeful. McInerney’s intelligent prose is laced with Irish slang that makes this a visceral and immersive reading experience, in a novel which is layered with complex characters who are each in their own way seeking retribution. It’s honestly one of the most striking things I’ve read in a while. I know I won’t stop thinking about this any time soon.

Thank you Blogging for Books and Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Blogger Aesthetic Award

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I was tagged by Steph at Lost: Purple Quill for the Blogger Aesthetic Award!  Tag created by Liam at Hey Ashers!. Thanks for the tag, Steph!  Everyone go follow Steph if you aren’t already!

The Rules:

  • Collect any number of images that you feel represent you as a person—your personality, aspirations, favorite things, anything at all that makes you you.
  • Put your chosen images together into a collage of whatever size and shape you find pleasing.
  • Share your masterpiece with everyone, in all the places.
  • Maybe nominate other bloggers as a way to tell them, “Hey, you, I think you’re awesome, and we should celebrate that awesomeness.”
  • Share these rules (and maybe the below tips, if you’re feeling helpful).
  • Tips:

My aesthetic: 

All photos taken from my Instagram – feel free to follow me on there!

I think it’s kind of self-explanatory.  Cats + books + summer + Vermont + tennis + theatre + NYC + trying and failing to master the art of the fishtail braid.  Me in a nutshell.

Nominations:

Chelsea @ Spotlight on Stories // Irena @ Books and Hot Tea // Ella @ A Book Without End // Ann @ Ann Reads Them // Hadeer Writes // Jennee @ Belle of Booktopia // Charlotte Annelise

 

wrap up: books read in May 2017

  • Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose ★★★★★ + review
  • Roses of May by Dot Hutchinson ★★★ + review
  • When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen ★★★ + review
  • Into the Water by Paula Hawkins ★★★★ + review
  • Black Swan Green by David Mitchell ★★★★★ + review
  • Penance by Kanae Minato ★★★★ + review
  • White Fur by Jardine Libaire ★ + review

Best: Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
Runner up: Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose
Worst: White Fur by Jardine Libaire

Kind of all over the place, this month!  Two 5 stars, two really high 4 stars, two lukewarm 3 stars, and one ‘if I could give this zero stars I would’ 1 star.

There are times when I’d be saying ‘ah man, I only finished 7 books?’ but May was pretty rough, especially work-wise, and I’ve been really mentally and physically drained lately, so it’s definitely a ‘hell yeah I finished 7 whole books’ kind of month.  I also managed to review everything I read, which is the first time I’ve done that in a while!

As for June: I’m going to be in NYC for ten days and I cannot tell you how much I’m looking forward to that (one of my best friends lives in Brooklyn and I usually visit her every couple of months, but I haven’t actually been down since this time last year, so it’s long overdue), but that’ll cut down on my reading time a bit.  Still, a couple of books you can look forward to seeing on here next month: I’m currently reading The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney (and loving it!), I have an ARC of The Former Chief Executive by Kate Vane which I’m hoping to get to this weekend, I finally bought Six of Crows for Kindle, I have Yesterday by Felicia Yap and See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt from Netgalley, and I have The Leavers by Lisa Ko and American War by Omar El Akkad from Book of the Month which I’m hoping to get to soon (I started American War a couple of weeks ago, but I only read the first 10 or 15 pages, so I took it off my currently reading shelf since I think it’s going to be a couple of weeks until I have time to return to it).  Also I’ll hopefully read a couple of plays, which I usually do every month.

So there you have it.  What’s the best book you guys read in May?  And do you have any summer plans you’re looking forward to?  Let me know in the comments!  🙂

book review: White Fur by Jardine Libaire

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WHITE FUR by Jardine Libaire

US pub date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Hogarth Press
My review on Goodreads

Alright guys, it looks like I’m gonna be in the minority with this one. This is Fates and Furies all over again.

White Fur was a long, painful slog for me. I thought this book was overwritten and vapid; the characters were loathsome and one-dimensional; and perhaps most frustratingly, there was a distinct lack of subtlety to a narrative which was anemic to begin with. Filthy rich Jamey falls in love with Elise from the wrong side of the tracks, and… they have a lot of sex. That’s it. That’s the book. If you’re expecting a nuanced examination of class differences, keep looking, because there’s none of that here.

Take this passage, where Elise is meeting Jamey’s family:

Elise should be a Dartmouth lacrosse star whose granddad went to Groton with Bats, and she should be bronzed from the Vineyard, lips opaquely shiny from Chapstick. So happy to meet you, Mr. Hyde!

But no! Jamey is pushing forward the real Elise, in couture dress, shins bruised from basketball, cornrows latticing her lean head, feet wedged into slingbacks.

Getting hit by a freight train whose sides are painted with the words THEY COME FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS may have been more subtle, but okay. And this wouldn’t be quite so bad if it weren’t literally the entire book. There is absolutely no depth here. Jamey is rich and handsome and discontent and restrained, and Elise is poor and crass and loud and impulsive. Jardine Libaire leaves all her cards on the table by the end of the second chapter. There is nothing left to discover about these characters when every facet of their practically non-existent personalities has been spelled out from the very first page.

There’s something undeniably voyeuristic about the way this story is spun. This book isn’t romantic. It’s gritty, dirty, raw. It’s about the ugly sides of relationships, about jealousy and obsession. But that wasn’t the problem, because in theory that all sounds great to me. I love books that take a conventional premise and then spin the narrative in a different direction. It’s Romeo and Juliet but instead of love it’s passion, lust, obsession? Cool. Sounds fun.

But it wasn’t. I just didn’t care. Why was I suffering through the uncomfortable experience of acting as a voyeur into the lives of these two characters who bored me to tears? The answer is because I don’t DNF books. That’s it. That’s the only thing that kept me going. There was absolutely no intrigue, and absolutely no payoff for sticking with it as long as I did.

I thought the prose was terrible. It was trying so hard to come across as devil-may-care that I felt an acute sense of secondhand embarrassment for how much it did care. Each sentence felt artificially manufactured with MFA-degree precision (not that there’s anything wrong with getting an MFA in creative writing, but sometimes it just shows; what should come across as effortless becomes painfully obtrusive on every page.) What we’re left with isn’t artistic or poignant or emotional or insightful, it’s mostly just insipid.

(Vaguely NSFW text ahead, this quote is taken from a sex scene.)

Jamey is starting to operate in a trance, biting his lip. He’s a mystical vision of an orangutan in a nature show. He actually has the thought: I’m a monkey, and that’s okay. He’s got a dumb look on his face and that’s okay. For a minute, an hour later, right before he comes again, with two tongues licking him like kittens, he understands everything.

I’m sorry, but what is the point? Is this supposed to be profound? Sexy? Shocking? It’s not any of those things. It’s awkward. It’s dumb. It’s embarrassing. I could not stop cringing the entire time I was reading this.

But in an effort of not ending on a terribly negative note: none of my Goodreads friends who have read this have given it less than 4 stars. This is clearly a matter of personal taste, so if you think this sounds like the sort of thing you’ll like, give it a try! And I’m sorry for being so negative, but this is one of those books which managed to tick every item on a checklist I didn’t even know I had of things I hate in fiction. Sorry White Fur, we were like oil and water from the beginning.

Thank you Netgalley and Penguin First to Read for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. Quotes are taken from an ARC copy and may be edited before publication.