Y’all. Y’allllllllllllllllll. For the first time ever in my life, I reenacted that stupid Bradley Cooper gif. You know which one I’m talking about:
Except the book I was reading didn’t go out a window, it hit the wall, left a tiny orange mark, and scared the shit out of poor Koschei.
Which book, you ask? Prepare yourself for a shock… twas the new Elena Ferrante, The Lying Life of Adults. IT’S A ONE START REVIEW KINDA DAY, LADS. Buckle up.
Better than the Neapolitan covers, but still not good. I do not appreciate the sudden acceptance of orange and pink as coordinating colours. They don’t go, stop trying to make it happen.
The Summary Heist
Giovanna’s pretty face is changing, turning ugly, at least so her father thinks. Giovanna, he says, looks more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Is she turning into her Aunt Vittoria, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father clearly despise? Surely there is a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is.
Giovanna is searching for her reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves from one to the other in search of the truth, but neither city seems to offer answers or escape.
Named one of 2016’s most influential people by TIME Magazine and frequently touted as a future Nobel Prize-winner, Elena Ferrante has become one of the world’s most read and beloved writers. With this new novel about the transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, Ferrante proves once again that she deserves her many accolades. In The Lying Life of Adults, readers will discover another gripping, highly addictive, and totally unforgettable Neapolitan story.
Well shit. To say I’m disappointed in this book would be a huge understatement. I’m fucking devastated, my dudes. This was probably my most anticipated read of 2020, so maybe it actually fits. This shit year begets a shit book, so let it be written, etc. I even BOUGHT this book, this fucking $40 rip-off of a hardcover (
okay so I returned a whole passel of shitty birthday gifts from some frenemy morons who should just learn to give Chapters gift cards instead of trying to buy books for a librarian and used the store credit but still), and then read it in two days, that’s how excited I was. And the worst part was that I, naive idiot that I am, kept waiting for it to get better, for it become the kind of book I expected from Elena fucking Ferrante.
It was mindbogglingly shitty all the way up to the last sentence.
Horrible characters – truly vile, and worse, not at all interesting or even that well-developed – who acted illogically, a plot that wasn’t really a plot at all but just a bunch of terrible interactions, an ending that brought no revelation or insight… like, what the fuck happened, Ferrante?
I can’t even one-star this properly because it wasn’t a hate-read. I really wanted to love this novel, and I tried to find something redeeming, but even the writing was just so banal and self-aware. I’m sure there will be readers who loved this book, or claim to, but call me low-brow if you want, this book was a pile of rotting fish guts.
Don’t read it. If you want good Ferrante, read the Neapolitan series.
I got nothing.
The characters were never fully formed in my mind, so again… I got nothing.
Nightmare fuel but okay.
Book Boyfriend material
Literally no one.
One out of ten very troublesome blue floral bracelets. Seriously. That shit is cursed, fam. Just give it away.
ROBYN’S FINAL THOUGHT
2020, the year of fucking disappointment. Now you come for my books, too, 2020? How are dare you. For shame. And please for the love of God stop already.
– xo, R