How do readers become writers?

As the saying goes "imitation is the highest form of flattery."

There's a lot of readers out there. A lot. Not every one of them is posting pics on Instagram or forming lifestyle choices around their reads. Some people just read.

And we all know that writers read. Reading for writers is as essential as a pen and paper. You can't be a writer if you're not a reader and if you are, please email me so I can read you work.

However, how do you make a reader into a writer?

I'm not talking about legendary tomes of literature or spending years creating the perfect fantasy universe. I'm talking about those average day readers who enjoy what they read. Do you know how it's done? It's what I'm doing now and what you're reading.

When readers read, sometimes it's followed by thoughts and opinions and things that need to be said in some shape or another. That's where the writing comes in.

A friend of mine from a long time ago first introduced me to writing about books after he said he wasn't fully done reading until he wrote about it. I never understood that. I thought you read a book and you pat yourself on the back for reading and move on.

Yeah I would have lingering thoughts going through my head and I'd make some casual notes in my notebook, but it wasn't until I was expressly writing about books that I realized that he was right.

Books were made to make you think or understand or believe in something. Good or bad. Right or wrong. There was always something to make you feel. And feelings sometimes feel good to be said out loud. For me, I write them.

Sometimes I'm lazy about it or the book didn't hand me that spark. Other times I'm so inspired that I could write dissertations on a single scene or glance or shade of blue the character wore.

Sometimes I'm impassioned where I need to reach out to someone to debrief or vent.

Can you imagine all these emotions can be derived from one book?

And so I write. And so we write and we write well. We write and feel and love and inspire by the characters and stories we read. There are tons of blogs and booktubers and bookstagrammers that can't help but to share what they read. Some people even go off to write books themselves perpetuating the lifecycle of a book reader turning into a writer.

Perhaps they're all not writing, but they're all reading and they're all believing.

I just want one book that completely understands me

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I’ve been writing a blog post like this for a few years. It’s a topic that comes up every once in a while, but I’ve finally reached a tipping point.

It’s a hard truth for me to admit, but I am a quintessential millennial. I love rose gold and fraps and hate cultural appropriation. I feel #woke, and when you’re woke, you want to read #woke too.

For the past year I’ve been trying to find a book that resonates with a large percentage of the American population: a book about being Asian American and figuring out whether to be Asian or American.

First and second generation Asian Americans (or any X Americans that have parents and grandparents from another country coming to America to give their children a bright future) have the unique challenge of being raised with two conflicting cultures and ideologies. There’s the conservative and very traditional Asian side and then there’s the liberal and “make-your-own-traditions” American side. It’s not a struggle between races and between two people. It’s a struggle within yourself and “where your loyalties lie.”

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Being Asian American, I grew up a little differently from my friends at school. I was born in Flushing, NY but moved out to Long Island for the better schools. I think it’s safe to say that I may have had 2-3 Asian friends in high school and most of my other friends were other races.

There was an Asian contingency at school that I used to call “the Asian mafia.” Honestly, they moved in packs and only wore black. It felt like a really exclusive Asian club where your loyalties laid with the Mother country and not where you lived.

That was something we all experienced. You either chose to be Asian or you chose to be American. If you were Asian, you had a little bit of an accent, went to a Korean church, and hung out drinking boba every weekend with your Asian boyfriend/girlfriend in Flushing.

If you were American, well, you did what any good American kid does in the 90s. Listen to grunge rock while hanging out at the mall all day with your friends and then sitting at Applebee’s with one order of fries to share amongst all of you.

I spent every New Years Day at my grandparents house bowing for lucky money and spending time with my family. I ate kimchi at Thanksgiving dinner. I had a deep and rich cultural identity with a place that I’ve never actually been. My parents breeding my sister and I to be diligent Asian girls who would become diligent Asian women that did practical careers like being a lawyer or a doctor.

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If you asked me what nationality I was, I would say American. However, it’s undeniable that I’m also Asian. I know that there’s plenty of Americans who are also Asian that feel the same way. So, I went out looking for a book that might help better explain the differential and when I was 12 years old and struggling with my identity, I turned to Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club.

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Back in the 90s, the only real society-accepted representation of being Asian American was this book and even more so the movie. Asian women all being raised with the best intentions learning that they were neither Asian nor American. They didn’t struggle the way their parents did, but they struggled in their own rite. It was a breath of fresh air to see someone on the same level with me. It resonated so deeply and it wasn’t even about a culture of people that I understood. It was enough and ever since then I’ve been craving more.

So I search and look and find and read as many books as I possibly can related to being Asian and American, but nothing really matches what I’m looking for. This is not to say that books like this don’t exist. I’m pretty sure at the rate publishing houses are going, there has got to be a few books that fit this particular category. However, they’re not surfacing to the top of the book pile. They sit like lumps at the bottom where maybe a few people will find them, but they’ll never be mainstream.

And that’s something we need to change. The importance of reading diverse novels is not only to share knowledge of experiences, but also to give readers who understand those experiences some solace. Yes, we are just like you. Yes, we struggle too. No, you don’t need to cry anymore.

Making a plan to read diverse books is like allowing yourself to go to a first rate college even if you’re not 100% sure your smart enough for it. The fact that you’re going out to a school that’s better than you is inspiration enough to tell yourself there’s more to the world than what’s in front of me.

While we wait for those books to rise to the top like cream in milk, we have shows like Fresh off the Boat that visualizes the integration of American culture into the lives of first and second generation kids. We have multiple authors revealing more about the cultural history of all different kinds of people. We have movies where it’s important that the entire cast be of a specific race or nationality so not only is there proper culture representation, but also they’re not stepping on the toes of appropriation.

All great ways to satisfy the need to understand cultural identification in America, but we need more. I want more and we should all try and find more books that help explain these thoughts, feelings, understandings, and struggles so that people in our future, young people, can read them and create an even more accepting America.

If you have any books that you can recommend, please do! I’m always collecting stories from all over the spectrum.

 

Traveling to South Korea – Life Update

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I’m really loving my life updates, so I hope you’ve been loving them too. As you may know, I recently returned from my first trip to Seoul, South Korea. I’m Korean American and I’ve always wanted to travel to Korea to see where my family originally came from. It’s kind of funny that this was my first trip there and that I was there for a wedding for my sister’s friends.

So I went to the land of Psy and “Gangnam Style,” ate authentic Korean BBQ, visited some beautiful temples and palaces, and really felt a sense of belonging. However, I don’t think I would want to live here. It’s a modern city with a lot of technology, but it’s still a little backwards when it comes to things like women’s right to choose and the pollution is awful. But I can see myself visiting a few times in the future.

Maybe it’s because I’m Korean and living in America, but I’ve always struggled with who I am and metaphorically asking myself where my “loyalties lie.” Am I Korean? Am I American? I’ve been so homogenized by American culture and growing up here that I see myself more as American than as Korean. However, I don’t look it. I don’t look like those Baywatch babes with blonde hair, slender body, and classically beautiful features. But I’m American and in this country it’s ok if you don’t. You’re you, but at the same time I’m not me? I wonder if any other race within this diverse nation feels the same way.

This is getting quite philosophical, so I want to clearly say that while I’m an American and love being a citizen of this country, I still wonder what my heritage is and what I stand for and who were these people that I call “my people.” Being second generation born in America, I find myself asking that all the time. How do I maintain being the American I am while keeping true to the people I come from?

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So the opportunity for me to go to Korea came up and I couldn’t turn it down. It wasn’t the best timing to go with me losing my job and moving and getting married and all that, but I couldn’t say no. And you know what I found there?

I found myself detaching. I found myself as an American traveling to another country. I was being scolded for not being Korean enough. People were expecting me to speak fluently even though I came from a country where the dominant language is English. I found myself awkwardly bowing to everyone just to be polite when all was needed was a quick handshake. And even the opposite where I offered my hand only to be greeted with a bow.

I found myself feeling like a person touring the country of her origin, but not feeling original. I felt it when I saw my friend, an expat, speaking better Korean than me. “I’m still working on the dialect and emotion in my voice,” she said to me. But it wasn’t necessary to understand inflection when you can order coffees for everyone without having to switch to English.

And in its own small way, it was disheartening. I found myself wanting to go home and be in the comfort of a language and a people that I was used to. Korea is beautiful and a place where everyone should visit once, but I don’t identify with it as my country. My country is America and I’m proud of that. My country is also Korea and I’m proud of that too. However, Korea is not my home. It is the place that gave me my identity and I will always cherish that. I will always try to return, but as a tourist.

Identity is tough, folks. I don’t think anyone will ever get a good grasp of it. If you’re struggling through identity, not only ethnic identity but also gender identity and religious identity and all the other parts of you that make up who you are, then I can confidently say that you’re not alone. No one ever is. Everyday is a mad grab at finding who you are and doing what needs to be done in order to preserve that journey. It’s hard and it’s easy. But when you explore it and answer some of those questions you have about yourself, I think the one thing you get out of the whole ordeal is comfort.

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Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

I love when you’re on vacation, you don’t want to get bogged down by heavy stories or morose endings. You want something light and fluffy to make the vacation more enjoyable. It’s like pairing a wine with your dinner. You don’t want something heavy to go with something light. You want them to equally match so that your entire experience is fun. That is exactly how I felt about Isla and the Happily Ever After. 

To be honest, I didn’t think Isla’s name would be so appropriate with my vacation, but it’s made me happy knowing I’ll be reading the story about a girl named after an island.

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com)

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. 

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Continue reading “Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins”

Memories, trinkets, and a good story

I love memories and trinkets. The mind’s ability to recognize something and immediately understand that this was a part of my childhood. Even if it only lasted for a few fleeting moments in my life, I can remember my fondness for a wind up toy or how I lovingly caressed my barbies.

Memories and their correlation to trinkets and ephemera are powerful. You’re immediately transported to another world. It’s similar to reading. Reading sometimes feels like a memory to me. It’s like I’m watching a show I loved when I was a kid or feeling like this is something that actually happened to me. Stories transport you and any good writer allows the story to take you wherever it needs to go.

What I find extremely funny in this world of mine is that the trinkets and ephemera of the novels I read suddenly become things that I tangibly need. For example, the key to the secret garden Mary Lennox comes across in The Secret Garden or the twin ivory elephants.

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Or perhaps the locket from A Little Princess:

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And that little piece of ephemera whisks you away to a place where the ground is still fertile or a promise to return. You are Mary Lennox or Sara Crewe. You lived their lives and looking back on these trinkets is almost like looking back at yourself as a kid.

As an adult, it’s always good to look back at the good times and remember when things were a lot easier. You can imagine getting lost in the wild and you can remember bike rides and your favorite toys and the one trinket that you’ll always hold dear to your heart. The same can be said about books. There will always be the story you remember to warm your heart and soul and think about the best moments in your life.

As long as you have that, then there’s never anything to worry about.

 

 

Book Review – November 9 by Colleen Hoover

If we’re going to kiss, it has to be book-worthy.

Ok, so maybe I was a little bit hasty to write about my first impressions on romance novels before reading this book.

Rating: 4.5/5

Plot Summary – Fallon and Ben meet each other on the anniversary of an accident leaving Fallon scarred on the left side of her body. It’s the eve before Fallon moves to New York to pursue a career in theater despite her looks.

In a serendipitous meeting, Fallon and Ben fall in love. Sadly, it’s not the best timing. These two agree to meet every November 9th in the same location at the same time and recount their growth over the year. Of course, truths are revealed and hearts are broken.

But do they end up loving each other? Stay tuned.

My thoughts – I can’t tell if this is the story about love at first sight, or love conquering over anguish, or love can heal all wounds. But I can tell you it’s about love. And like the most purest love that you’ve ever thought about that it almost doesn’t feel real love.

This book was like romance-ption (see what I did there?). It was a romance novel including a main character who loved romance novels. If more romance novels were like this one, then I’d definitely apologize for my last post as well as read more and more of these novels.

There weren’t any throbbing members or quivering bosoms. The book felt like a good-hearted story of a boy and girl who happen to fall in love. Their emotions felt real. Their decisions felt real. This whole book felt like something I wish was real and it’s definitely something I look for when I read.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a fan of Confess when it came out. I thought that the story didn’t move in an eloquent way. It seemed clunky stuck with random things that I didn’t anticipate to happen. I was worried November 9 would be the same way.

However, November 9 really had me walking through the city and not paying attention to what’s happening around me. While the rest of America is head down entranced by Pokemon Go, I’m getting hurt in other ways. I walked into a pole this book is so good.

 

Whether or not the couple ends up together at the end of a book doesn’t determine whether that book has a happy ending or not. As long as the two people end up happy, it doesn’t really matter if they end up happy together.

While I want to give this book five stars, there were two things that I agonized over and wish didn’t happen.

  1. The explanation – Every book has that scene where the main character needs to start from the beginning and explain their reasoning behind things. Without providing too many spoilers, the main character in this book provides their novel. While it’s fun to read a novel within a novel, it was a little bit tedious. I think that Colleen Hoover could have achieved the same effect if Fallon and Ben were talking to each other and the reader was reading a flashback to the beginning of their story. Then, it would feel more like a flowing story than abruptly halted by reading another book.
  2. The ending – Again, without giving away too much about the book I was not happy about the ending. It was oozing with cheese! I’m happy that the ending the way it did, but I’m just not a fan of endings such as this.

However, don’t let these two points deter you from reading the book. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I couldn’t put it down and other cliched phrases to describe how great this book was.

Would I recommend it? Absolutely and especially so if you have a soft spot in your heart for love.

Book Review – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

A gambler, a convict, a wayward son, a lost Grisha, a Suli girl who had become a killer, a boy from the Barrel who had become something worse.

I have so many feelings about this book that I can’t even.

Rating – 5/5 (NO DOUBTS ABOUT IT)

Plot Summary – If you took The Breakfast Club gang and put them in Ocean’s Eleven, then you basically have Six of Crows.

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The story follows Kaz and his crew to kidnap someone who’d created a powerful drug that can amplify Grisha power a hundredfold. Who wouldn’t love a drug like that? Oh, perhaps it’s the fact that you get instantly addicted to it and it drives you insane before you die of withdrawal.

Each person on this “heist” has something to offer the crew. One is a Grisha, another is a bombs expert, a gun expert, and a spy. They all have one thing in common; they all work and live in the Barrel of Ketterdam. It sounds nice, but it’s supposed to be ruthless. Feel the ruthlessness!

My review – After reading The Grisha Trilogy, I was a little skeptic as to how this book would turn out. If you’ve read my review, you know that I didn’t really like that series. However, I didn’t want my feelings about the series to hinder the great reviews I was seeing online about Six of Crows. Also, I’m highly suggestible and that’s how I landed on reading this one.

I am blown away with what Leigh Bardugo was able to do with this world. She’s like a baker. After building her Grisha cake of Alina and Mas, she expertly used the scraps of that world to create a more adventurous novel. By adventurous, I mean that it really took you a journey as a crew of misfits from the Barrel fight for their freedom, their dignity, and a shit ton of money. There’s this repeating idea of “ride or die” with this group that I found so appealing. They barely got along in this story and then by the end, they were best friends (ish? I mean, how friendly can you get with thieves).

Her character development has always been super strong and with the layout of this novel, Bardugo is able to paint a pretty decent picture of everyone in the crew without sacrificing the plot.

Also, there’s a plot! I think that was one of the pitfalls of why I didn’t like The Grisha Series. I always wanted to know what ultimately all that journeying through that world was going to lead to. However, it didn’t in this one. Every step made was intentional. Every journey made sense to build the characters and to build the tension of what’s going to happen next. It was like reading Pirates of the Caribbean, but you know, more fantastical.

The entire time reading this book, I could only imagine what this would look like in a movie. More accurately, I was thinking about how it would look as an anime where the boundaries of the fantastical world created here can be pushed and brought to reality. Honestly, make that happen. Just make it happen.

I think one question people might be asking is if this story is readable without having to read The Grisha Triology?

The quick answer is yes. There’s enough explanation and backstory as to how the Grisha came to be, who the Shu and the Fjerdan are and their stance about Grisha, and there isn’t any wild overly religious implications throughout it (which was one of the drawbacks I didn’t like about the trilogy). However, it isn’t too overbearing with information that if you’ve already read The Grisha Trilogy it won’t be page after painstaking page of explanation you already know.

No mourners.

No funerals.

What I love about this world is that it’s not pretty. You take a bunch of slumdogs from the shadows of Ketterdam and you made them heroes in their own right. It’s most definitely an underdog story and you sympathize with these characters. I don’t know if you’d want to date them, but hey, that’s your call. I can’t gush enough how much I loved this book.

The last thing I wanted to touch on and only slightly because I can’t stop thinking about it and that’s the good ship Kaz and Inej. I don’t know if there is a romantic notion between them, but there is love. I love that it’s subtle and quiet and I definitely love that you can’t feel the tension. They know what they want from each other. They know that it’s impossible to get with the ruthless lives that they lead. However, if that relationship moved forward, I would be clapping the loudest at their thieves wedding.

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My Favorite Authors to Follow on Instagram

I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for stalking.

Yes, stalking.

However, you won’t find me trailing my ex-boyfriend or ex-bestie to see what their lives are like without me in it. Instead, I like to stalk my favorite authors.

Ok, so maybe “stalking” isn’t the right term for it. But what is it called when you follow your favorite authors on Instagram, leave comments in hopes that they respond, and idolize their lives through the pictures they post? Maybe obsession? I don’t know.

All I know is that there’s something so alluring about following people who’s books you enjoy. You want to see if their lives are similar to those of the characters they write. However, what you find out instead is that they’re just like us…maybe with a few more random book writing pics. It’s not all about the process in these photos!

I’m also a huge fan of following them on Instagram. Instagram is my #1 social media go-to for all things stalker-y.

I don’t know if you’re interested in the same thing, but I thought I would share my top favorite authors to follow on Instagram.

    1. R. S. Grey – If you haven’t read any of her books, I  suggest you pick one up. She’s a new adult/romance writer in the same vein as Colleen Hoover. However, you’d just think she’s like any other book blogger on social media. Her book pics are so beautiful and you’ll find yourself wishing that was your life. I highly recommend!
    2. Morgan Matson – As everyone already knows, I love YA and Morgan Matson is one of my favorites. Her instagram account is also filled with fun pictures of her, her Starbucks, and her travels. If you’ve ever wanted to be jealous of someone’s life, this is the girl you need to be following.
    3. Jenny Han – Similar to Morgan Matson (also, I think they’re besties), Jenny Han is an incredible writer. She’s definitely got an eclectic mix going on her Instagram and always makes me wonder if this is how life is at the NY Times Bestsellers list
    4. Veronica Roth – You may know her as the author of the Divergent Series, but to me, she’s like a regular gal about town. Her instagram feels like your best friend’s; always doing something interested and exploring the world. You just wish you can be there with her! I can see where she gets her inspiration!

What are some of your favorite authors to stalk on the internet?

July 2016 Book Haul

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Back in June, I told myself that this would be my last book haul in a little while. Finances have been rough the past few weeks so buying more books felt like an extravagance that I can do without.

I honestly think I might have a problem.

I sometimes feel like I’m “deprived” from living in the city. You can’t honestly be deprived of anything in New York unless you’re actually deprived. I wouldn’t call myself deprived. I’m getting off the topic. I’m just saying that there are things that come easier to those who live in smaller cities….and have a car.

Bookstores in the city are great, but they’re always so crowded. The Barnes and Nobles are always dotted with homeless people trying to spend a little time in air conditioning or heating. You can also never find a place to sit and you can’t sit on the floor (I’ve personally been yelled at a few times because of that).

So when I’m in the suburbs of some town and I have travel arrangements, I make a trip to a bookstore.

Anyway, I found myself hauling back my haul from Florida to New York over the weekend. Here’s my picks:

  1. You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour – I have heard great things about both of these authors separately, so I’m excited to know what they can do together. This definitely seems like the “slice of life” YA that I enjoy thoroughly.
  2. Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler – Honestly, I picked this book up because it’s about food. It only has 3.5 stars on Goodreads and that worries me a little bit. Hopefully, I’ll walk away from this book with a higher appreciation.
  3. Dreamology by Lucy Keating – Oh this one I’m really excited about. The premise of this book is that a young woman dreams of a dude and he was awesome. Then, this dude becomes a reality. Sounds like my high school dream.
  4. milk and honey by Rupi Kaur – I was a little bit hesitant on picking this one up mostly because I’m not a fan of reading poetry. I did a lot of that in high school and reading poetry sometimes means you have to find some hidden secret the writer is leaving for you. I read a few lines before I decided to pick it up and I think this might be a little bit off the beaten path.
  5. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon –  For some reason, when I think of this book premise I think of that movie Bubble Boy with a young post-Donnie Darko Jake Gyllenhaal. Obviously, this book isn’t about that, but you can’t help but to imagine it.
  6. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – I don’t know how this happened, but there are some YA books I missed while I was in college and a lot when I was in middle school and high school. Vampire Academy appears to be one of them (I was too busy wrapping up finals in college and there was no booklr at the time).
  7. My Lady Jane by a bunch of people (Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows) – This book has been getting a lot of press lately. While it isn’t the most accurate portrayal of Lady Jane Grey, it’s supposedly hilarious and beautiful. I’m excited about this one for sure.

Now, I’m not a big fan of making TBR lists because I end up straying from that, buying a brand new book, and reading that. However, I will say that I’m excited about these picks and I hope to read them before the end of the summer.

Ok, no more buying books until Comic Con.

 

Book Review – Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

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Timing was everything—that was more and more obvious the older you got, when you finally understood that the universe wasn’t held together in any way that made sense. There was no order, there was no plan. It was all about what you’d had for breakfast, and what kind of mood you were in when you walked down a certain hallway, and whether the person who tried to kiss you had good breath or bad.

Rating: 3/5

I left New York for the week I read this to get some time away from the big city. If you’ve lived here for as long as I’ve lived here (13 years), you may have some of the feelings that I do. My vacation in the summer is meant to alleviate some of that stress from my life for a little while. Unbeknownst to me, that stress would follow me to Florida.

Plot Summary (from Goodreads)- Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring.

My Review – I needed a few days to digest this book before I had a chance to write up the review. I think my main hesitation from writing this up quickly was that I didn’t want to sound like a ranting hormonal bitch while I did it.

It’s like watching American Beauty and…

…wait. This is exactly the plot of American Beauty. Geeez.

The story is about aging hipsters who feel like they’ve run out of options and lost out on something big when they were younger. It just seems so overdone. There’s the guy struggling to make something of himself, the lesbians who are trying to make their relationship work while running their little restaurant together, the middle aged woman who made a career out of being a real estate agent when she could have been something else like a rock star. And then the dead rock star who lived as much of her life as possible until she died at the age of 27. It’s like everyone in the book somehow wants to be able to go back in time, do drugs, and be that dead lady.

And the young people, well, they were just starting to understand the feelings that they had for each other. The gun-shy boy who always did the right thing suddenly does the wrong thing. The slutty girl who finally opens up to her emotions. It’s pretty much American Beauty minus the twist ending.

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Where is the plot here? What is the catalyst to move this story forward? There were a few hints of a plot line throughout the book, but ultimately this just felt like a “day in the life of some Brooklynites.”

Emma Straub is one of those authors that I always end up reading their books. Regardless of what the book is about, I’ll ineventually read it. Every time I pick up a book by Emma Straub, I’m always dazzled and fascinated to find out what she’s written. I’ve read Lara Lamott’s Life in Pictures and The Vacationers. I wasn’t too thrilled with either of these, but with a new year, I figured this would be a hit.

 

 

There was no fate. Life was just happenstance and luck, bound together by the desire for order

I was so sorely disappointed with this book. I honestly feel that giving it three stars out of five was generous. The theme I got from this entire book was that growing up was/is hard, marriage is hard, everything is hard and you have to deal with it. What Straub lacks in plot development she makes up in quotes. I’ve added a few choice quotes I found while I was reading. Suffice it to say, Emma Straub waxes poetic about the meaning of life while in between bouts of existential bullshit.

So much of the city she’d fallen in love with was gone, but then again, that’s how it worked. It was your job to remember. At least the bridges were still there. Some things were too heavy to take down.

I think some of the issues I take with this book stem from the fact that I live in Brooklyn and I’m so immersed in life here. It wasn’t awe-inspiring to read about the people I live next to. Or even to read about some similar thoughts I’ve been coming to terms with myself.

Perhaps if you’re not from New York and you’re wondering why that kid in your chemistry class that always brooded was up to nowadays, then perhaps this is the book for you. Because honestly, this book wasn’t breaking the mold with ideologies and different life views for me.

Would I recommend? Perhaps not to a native New Yorker.