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If I was good at maths then I would be able to give some kind of a percentage as to how far into this challenge I am so far. As it is, I’m shit at it. So I have no idea, I know it’s not quite a 6th of the way through the official challenge, but it is a 7th of the way through the unofficial one.
But anyway, back to today’s book in question.
We all know at this point in time that I am low key obsessed with Carrie Fisher and I have devoured two of her autobiographies in mere days and I had kind of just assumed that it would be the case for this as well.
It was not.
This book felt hard to get through. I struggled.
And I don’t even really know what it was about it that I just couldn’t mesh with. But there was something. And from the opening pages I felt like I was a little on the back foot because I just didn’t expect the way that it was told.
The first part was first person narrative, which I am fine with. And then the other two parts were not. In fact for a lot of the beginning of the second part I wasn’t even really sure who was involved in the scene that was before me because no names were mentioned. It was pronouns only. Which was slightly alarming I’ve gotta be hones with you. I mean I settled into it eventually but it took a while and the settling process was a lot of hard work. Then the 3rd part felt a bit more familiar but was still something that I had to get used to in some way.
It meant that the book took slightly longer to get through then I had anticipated it taking. It was a lot denser then it looks at face value coming in at only just over 200 pages.
I also can’t really say that I liked it. It’s what prompted my DNF post the other day, because I did kind of hate it and I could think of nothing worse then trying to make it to the end because it just felt so impossible, but also I needed to know how Suzanne Vale’s story ended. Can’t say I was a fan of it either.
I mean it kind of made sense in a lot of ways, but I dunno. I think I was just disappointed by the whole damn book and the ending was never going to change that, no matter how much I may have wanted it to.
There were some bright sparks to to it all. This book was funny. I actually did laugh out loud multiple times. It was the kind of unexpected laughing from a joke that you don’t really see coming but it just gets you. This book was full of that. It was a bright spark.
I also really loved the first part of this book. I liked it being told from two different first person narratives who are at very different stages of their drug addiction. There’s Suzanne who has very much made her peace with the fact that she needs to be there and is trying her hardest to make sure that she gets the most out of it and then there is Alex who is in denial. I enjoyed (which sounds a bit morbid now that I think about it) his perspective. The way it followed his thought processes and as a reader you could see that he had a problem but then on some other level you could also see that he didn’t understand that he had a problem. I liked that Suzanne could recognise that Alex clearly hadn’t thought had had reached rock bottom even though every one around him believed that he had and then, well Alex reached rock bottom.
I didn’t quite get why Alex was there though and then only sort of briefly mentioned towards the end of the book. As a reader you spend a fair amount of time with him in the first part of the book and then the focus is solely on Suzanne, which I understand because it’s her narrative, but also it seemed a bit odd to only have him mentioned a couple of times at a later date to show that he had made good on the thing that he said he was going to do.
I also liked that this book showed the world post rehab and allowed Suzanne to fall into a sort of depressive state without the drugs and she stayed there for a fair amount of time, but that was then contrasted with the fact that it whilst she in that state and sort of forcing herself to try and get back into society that she actually mets the person that she ends up in a committed relationship come the close of the book.
I liked how complicated, and to be honest messy, Suzanne was. And she was almost unapologetically so, which I enjoyed. I did like seeing her journey through from start to finish on some level. But the way the narrative is told just didn’t mesh well with me at the time, maybe because I was coming off the back of reading a couple of other books that I also didn’t quite get on with and so there was still some sort of hangover from that. I dunno.
It’s not that I hated this book, as I’ve said there are quite a lot of elements that I enjoyed but for the most part I just couldn’t get into the way that I had hoped and expected that I would.
I think yes, for some reason I would actually recommend this book. Maybe I just need to read it at a different time or something, or maybe it’s just one of those books that while not the worst book I’ve ever read, is just not one that I got on with it…
Parentheses count: 1. See you tomorrow!
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