by Daisy Buchanan
One of my favourite things about talking about this book is having one of two reactions. The first: “wait, is that a book based off the Netflix show?”. The second: “did the lassie from the Great Gatsby write a novel??” Classic.
And now – here’s my book review for one of my favourite reads of the year.
Messy horny girl summer!!
This stream of consciousness novel tells the story of Violet. Newly single, in a dead end job, she’s on the doorstep of the career of her dreams. But not quite able to cross the threshold. She has recently distanced herself from the man she was set to marry. On top of that, she’s living in the wake of of a massive fall out with her best friend.
When she meets the seemingly perfect and fabulously wealthy Lottie at an art exhibition, she careens into a lifestyle of high art, bougie restaurants, career opportunities, and wild group sex. She becomes something of the pet-girlfriend of Lottie and her husband, and navigates relationships with the couple’s high influence friends.
Embracing the bubbly
This novel doesn’t hold back in its writing style. Violet’s narrative is bubbly, fast-paced, and full of character.
I think a lot of writers now opt for a cooler, maybe more detached writing style. I often describe this style as a child’s teddy bear, the type that wears a blank expression so a child’s emotions can better reflect upon it. If that makes sense. This cooler way of writing is really good, by the way, and I’m not knocking it.
But Violet as a narrator is refreshing. She’s at times undignified and she makes really bad social, financial, and vocational decisions. It might be easy to hate her, to be really annoyed with her decisions. Instead, we’re rooting for Violet because she’s so endearing.
She’s sweet and she’s a woman who’s been through a lot of heartbreak that she’s clearly still living with. Therefore, she’s a very sympathetic character who manages to still be relentlessly fun.
So…I didn’t know that this book was spicy walking into it. But it is. I learned this on my bus to work, at approximately twenty five past seven on a Tuesday morning.
A lot of the ~spicy~ writing is very exciting. If you’re looking for something like that, then I recommend it!
However, there’s a lot of unsexy sex. Lottie and her husband are (badly) recovering from a major trauma. They use a physical relationship with Violet to work through that. They are uncommunicative and deeply problematic, and as you learn more about what they’ve been through, these scenes can become very uncomfortable.
And that’s not said as a criticism. It’s just, if you’re after a book with sex where all the sex is sexy, then you won’t find this here. The conflict presented in these sex scenes is upsetting, anxiety-inducing, and all round really interesting.
Please read this book
I feel like I don’t see a lot of people talking about this one, which is a crime. The way this novel is written is bouncy and fun, the plot of twisty and takes you down unexpected paths. If I had to compare it to other books, I’d maybe liken the writing style to that of Colleen Hoover’s, and I pair this book with Luster for fitting in the “horny messy girl’s unhinged stream of conscious” genre.
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