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You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty
You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty | Akwaeke Emezi
93 posts | 57 read | 35 to read
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First 5 ⭐️ read of August!

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Emezi is a talented writer, but this took me an age to read. It's a clichéd and sappy forbidden love story that at times had me rolling my eyes and saying "oh, brother..." out loud.

Expect yummy writing and fiery sex scenes, but also insta-love and 50-shades-of-grey-style-falling-for-a-millionaire-wish-fulfillment. It wasn't a bad romance, but it didn't push any boundaries either.

⭐⭐⭐ 3 stars

RaeLovesToRead *BIPOC author 1mo
Cortg Nice job! This author is hit or miss for me. 1mo
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Megabooks This was a so-so for me too! 1mo
squirrelbrain Great review! It didn‘t come out particularly well at #camplitsy either. 🤷‍♀️ 1mo
batsy I felt the same! Was disappointed that someone who wrote Freshwater just gave it to all of the clichés in this one. 1mo
RaeLovesToRead @Cortg @Megabooks @squirrelbrain @batsy Thanks guys! I will be checking out Emezi's other work in the future, hopefully 😊 1mo
62 likes7 comments
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Lots of drama! I loved it so much! Decadent, colorful, and artistic. 🌺 This book deals so well with grief and love and how those two feelings stay and intertwine in is.

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Way late for this #camplitsy selection (like most of them 😂). I almost DNF‘d 25 pages in, but I‘m glad I didn‘t, because I ended up really enjoying this story! Sultry, steamy, and filled with both vivid imagery and imperfect characters dealing with grief. Definitely recommended for fans of Queenie. Some cringe worthy moments, as these are not perfect characters. I look forward to reading Emezi‘s other books, they definitely caught my attention.

squirrelbrain Great review -I can definitely see the comparisons with Queenie. 1mo
DimeryRene Oh sultry is a great word! 1mo
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One of my favorite used bookstore cafes is right next to our oncology vet. #HelloKitty is there today for imaging and staging, and if that comes out clear, she‘ll get her 1st chemo treatment today. Waiting here is easier than there, but not by much.

Amputation is out, as it is too close to her vertebra. So anything we do is palliative, not a cure, but we can hope for 2+ yrs more with her if chemo works, if it hasn‘t spread yet.🤞#catsofinstagram

quietjenn Good luck ❤️ 1mo
Susanita Sending healing vibes. ❤️‍🩹 1mo
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm Hoping for the best for your fur baby. ❤️ 1mo
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squirrelbrain Hope you get good news. 🤞 1mo
ravenlee Best of luck for your baby. 1mo
alisiakae @quietjenn @Susanita @MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm @squirrelbrain @ravenlee Thabk you so much! We got the good news we were hoping for, it‘s Stage 1 and hasn‘t spread. And they immediately started her 1st round of chemo today. 🙌🏽 There‘s no cure, but hopefully chemo will give us another few years with her. 1mo
Addison_Reads @4thhouseontheleft I'm glad they were able to move so quickly with her treatment. I've been thinking about you and your kitty. I'm hoping for the best possible outcome you guys can get. 💚 1mo
ravenlee Oh, hooray! When my fur baby got her cancer diagnosis it was too late to do anything but try to make her comfortable and the end cane quickly. I‘m so glad you have time with HelloKitty! Give her a scritch for me! 1mo
alisiakae @ravenlee Thank you! Yeah, we lost our older kitty #Isabel in April after finding lung tumors way too late to do anything. The end came just a few days later, so fast we came home a day early from spring break. I was so glad today to hear HK's hadn't spread. 1mo
squirrelbrain I‘m so pleased that you got the news you hoped for, and that she‘s started her treatment already. ❤️ 1mo
68 likes10 comments
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No plans this weekend other than sitting out by the pool, reading and relaxing! We have some tough medical appts coming up this week so I‘m giving myself the grace to take it easy and enjoy the sun and water.

AlaMich That pool is gorgeous!! 2mo
Bklover Wishing you the best at your appointments. Beautiful pool- enjoy! 2mo
5feet.of.fury Wishing you good outcomes of your appointments! And looking forward to your thoughts on this book 💕 2mo
ShelleyBooksie Gorgeous pool 2mo
ShelleyBooksie Hope your appts go well. 2mo
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"You don't think she loves you?"

"I know she does. And that's something I've learned in the years since, that there are so many different types of love, so many ways someone can stay committed to you, stay in your life even if y'all aren't together, you know? And none of these ways are more important than the other."

Blueberry Reminds me of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. 2mo
Librariana "So many ways someone can stay committed to you..." SIGH ? Lovely! Truly. 2mo
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#camplitsy. Finally finished! 🤦‍♀️ I really enjoyed this. Not just because of the gorgeous cover and great title (which I adored), but I loved the vibrant writing and language. It‘s a sexy, sultry, messy love story, not for those who find insta-love annoying (I‘m not one of them!) The complicated, intense attraction and connection through personal loss and creativity made sense to me. (Continued in the comments)…

KarenUK ….And I really rooted for Feyi. I connected with all her messiness, her insecurities and self doubt, her walls she put up one minute, only to take impulsive risks the next. Great summery read for me. Seems like I‘m in the minority though! 😂 4 stars for me (but I‘m a #starslut so what do I know! ?🤷‍♀️ (edited) 2mo
squirrelbrain It does seem like you‘re in the minority doesn‘t it?! Glad you loved it! 2mo
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Cinfhen You are a #StarSlut but that‘s ok xxx I didn‘t hate this one but it was #MoreMehThanYeah for me 2mo
Megabooks I‘m glad you loved it!! Every book deserves a fangirl! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 2mo
BarbaraBB What @Megabooks says 🤍🤍 2mo
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New gratitude journal and notebook from Papier 💕💕💕

Plus the books I'm failing to read today 📚

Cinfhen Gorgeous 🤩 2mo
RaeLovesToRead @Cinfhen Thank you! I love Papier designs 💕 2mo
Cathythoughts Very nice 💕 2mo
RaeLovesToRead @Cathythoughts I shall start recording my gratitude soon 😊 2mo
63 likes4 comments
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Wow this was so beautiful ❤️‍🩹❤️‍🩹 I really loved all the characters and how poetic the writing was, it's such a messy story about loss, healing, and pushing past our fears, of taking opportunities, of being selfish, and of love. Also, this was so unexpectedly #queer like yes I loved it!! I have so many more words but just *chef's kiss* ⚠️ For age gap, graphic sex, and mentions of dead loved ones

#jubilantjuly @Andrew65 #readathon

Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 2mo
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This was the first full-blown romance novel that I've read in years. I enjoyed it more than I expected and was very happy with the ending. Glad I could read it along with the other campers! #camplitsy

willaful There's some wonderful romance writing going on now... the genre has changed a lot! Though I'm not sure this qualifies as a genre romance? 2mo
Sparklemn @willaful You're right. I'm not sure what genre this would fall into. But I enjoyed the romance aspect. Any romance authors that you'd recommend? I'd love to try one. 2mo
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Next on the list for #jubilantjuly! The narrator sounds really familiar but can't remember what book off the top of my head, and aside from the unexpectedly graphic sex scene at the start (not that I mind lol), it sounds like it's an interesting read, maybe a heartbreak and healing type of story? 🤔

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Welcome back to #CampLitsy! We‘re at the halfway point of the summer. 🏕 I know I‘ve been enjoying these discussions, and I hope you have, too!

Last week, we discussed Feyi‘s instant connections. Now that more has been revealed about Alim and the similarities between his and Feyi‘s relationship histories, do you think they can make it work?

See All 48 Comments
AnneCecilie I think that is a common ground for them and that the loss is something that the other understand, also the suddenness of the loss. They also seem to be the kind of people to give each other space when need be. 2mo
Laughterhp I think they can see the grief in each other and she found someone besides her best friend that she can open up to. I hope they can make it last because it caused so much drama but they live in very different worlds. 2mo
Kitta @Laughterhp I agree I‘m hoping they can make it last because of all the drama they went though to be together. I think Feyi had to find someone she could open up to to feel comfortable in a “real” relationship. It wouldn‘t have worked with Namir. 2mo
Megabooks @AnneCecilie that‘s interesting that you point out the space. Both didn‘t seem ready to move to the other‘s city yet, so hopefully that will give them a chance to ease into the relationship. 2mo
Megabooks @Laughterhp @kitta the drama was a bit intense at times. I almost asked a question about Nasir‘s erratic, imo, immature behavior, but I cut it last minute. The siblings definitely had strong opinions about what they thought Alim should do both now and in the past. I think he deserves happiness and space, especially since the kids are adults. 2mo
Kitta @Megabooks I think especially since they didn‘t accept him (Alim) for being bisexual he deserves happiness now. As a bisexual myself I was worried about my family forcing me to choose a straight relationship but thankfully that hasn‘t been the case. I would have liked Nasir and his sister to accept him more for this but you can‘t have it all! 2mo
squirrelbrain I agree @Laughterhp that they live very different lives. I kind of hope that they do make it work, partly as I think his kids were being very immature about it all, but I‘m not sure I can see it. 2mo
Soubhiville @Kitta @Laughterhp @Megabooks Same as you all, I hope they make it because of the lengths they went to in order to try. I definitely think their shared grief gives them common ground, and they seem to be able to relate and communicate in a deep way Feyi hadn‘t allowed herself before. I can see why the kids didn‘t trust Feyi‘s love- the way the relationship started wasn‘t ideal- but also life is messy sometimes and I hope they eventually will ⬇️ 2mo
Soubhiville Respect their dad‘s right to finally move on and have love again. 2mo
Laughterhp @Megabooks @squirrelbrain Alim has definitely given up a lot for his kids and they can‘t see that. He gave up one relationship when they were younger, but you think as adults they‘d be less immature and more accepting. 2mo
MicheleinPhilly Call me a pessimist, but I really don‘t. I never really thought their connection was based on anything other than physical chemistry and Alim‘s celebrity. I didn‘t really buy their relationship and thought the end was kind of eye-rolly. 2mo
Leniverse Shared grief is definitely where they connect, in addition to that lightning strike insta-love thing. Whether it lasts or not, it seems like a relationship they both need in order to move forward. As for Nasir, I just want to roll my eyes and tell him, "If you hadn't been such a homophobic asshat about your dad's bisexuality, you wouldn't be competing for the same woman now. Karma, dude." 2mo
Megabooks @Kitta thank you for sharing your perspective as a bisexual person! I imagine it is difficult for some people to resist pressure to be in a relationship with the opposite gender. 2mo
Megabooks @Soubhiville @squirrelbrain @Laughterhp @Kitta I am rooting for them as well, especially since he burnt down so much of his life. I always want people to find happiness in real life (and fictional worlds too), and it‘s about time for the kids to let Alim make choices he believes are in his own best interest! @Leniverse interesting point that they both need each other to move on, and 💯 re: the kids being homophobes! 2mo
Megabooks @MicheleinPhilly yeah, the end was a bit neat for me as well, but I prefer messy endings in books. I think @Leniverse ‘s point about needing this is interesting because even if it doesn‘t last, perhaps it will allow them to move on with others. 2mo
Cathythoughts Yes I think Feyi and Alims similar histories are what brings them together on a deep level. I‘m not sure about their future.. their present is in a beautiful bubble, the house , the mountain, they are in pain and conflict in such a beautiful place .. what will happen when real life eventually sets in 🤷🏼‍♀️ I wonder about that. (edited) 2mo
Megabooks @Cathythoughts agree that it is a bubble. And does Alim actually work? It‘s nothing like the celebrity chef memoirs I‘ve read! There is something a bit magical about that location. 2mo
Kitta @Megabooks it‘s definitely hard when you seemingly have a choice, but you can‘t help who you fall in love with and getting easier all the time to be in an lgbtq relationship! The struggles the generation above me faced were much greater. Although who knows how hard it‘ll be in the US in years to come with the Supreme Court rolling back rights! /political rant over 2mo
Cathythoughts Good question Meg , does Alim actually work? . Ya it‘s like the magic happens there in that time and place , the healing begins. Maybe that‘s it. Maybe their futures will not be together. (edited) 2mo
Addison_Reads I think they found each other when they needed to and sometimes real life works out that way, but not usually. It works in this story, but I think at some point in the future, when they've both healed, their paths might diverge and they remain friends. 2mo
Ruthiella I also think that maybe Feyi and Alim are right for each other right now. There are so many factors that play into maintaining a long term relationship, but the fact that they both have careers that consume a lot of time and energy, plus the age and geographical distance makes me a think it would be challenging to remain together. 2mo
Megabooks @Kitta ugh yes! I‘m very worried about LGBTQIAP+ rights as well! (edited) 2mo
Megabooks @Cathythoughts I was just thinking being a celebrity chef isn‘t meditating on a hill and cooking random recipes in a home kitchen far away from the restaurants you own! Hopefully they do find healing though. (edited) 2mo
Megabooks @Addison_Reads yes, I can see them as friends if it doesn‘t work out. They both seemed to have an interest in supporting the other. 2mo
Megabooks @Ruthiella those are all important factors in a lasting relationship. I think the book was left a bit open as to whether they possess them. 👍🏻 2mo
Deblovestoread Sometimes people are in your life for a finite amount of time. I think Feyi needed Alim to get to the next step in her life and sharing her grief with someone who got it was that step. But I‘m not sure I buy happily ever after for these two. 2mo
squirrelbrain @Addison_Reads @Ruthiella @Kdgordon88 - hopefully you‘re all right and they‘ll both get the love and support they need from each other Igbo now, and then move on to being supportive friends. 2mo
batsy I'm with @MicheleinPhilly and I guess I feel bad because I know that we're meant to see that they found each other at the right time because of their experience with grief, but as a relationship I found it hard to believe. It felt like we're scratching at the surface. The thing that interested me most about Alim is his past relationship with Devon & what it must have cost him to give it up & put his children's opinions first. 2mo
MicheleinPhilly @batsy YES. His children‘s reaction to Devon confused me as well but I‘m also bringing my own life experience to that. Once I moved out of my parents‘ house (at 17), I literally did not give a fuck what either of them did with other people. But again, that‘s me. I was also curious about what island specifically they were on. I could see it being a HUGE issue somewhere like Jamaica. 2mo
MrsV I agree that Feyi and Alim connected to each other with their shared grief. 2mo
Hooked_on_books I don‘t see them together in the future because I don‘t see them together now! They don‘t even know each other! They spend these long conversations talking about how to tell his kids they‘re going to try to date and assuming some long future thing, yet she doesn‘t know if he would even want to come to NYC?!? Come on! This isn‘t a relationship, it‘s speculation and flirting. And she‘s too much of a fan girl for this to work. She kept referring to🔽 2mo
Hooked_on_books him as “Alim fucking Blake!” Um, maybe his daughter thinking she‘s a groupie isn‘t so far off? I kept yelling at the book through the second half, and this is largely why. 2mo
Hooked_on_books @Leniverse “Homophobic asshat” 😂 I love it! Perfect! 2mo
Megabooks @Kdgordon88 @squirrelbrain yeah, I think several of us are having trouble with forever for these two. Sometimes mr/ms right now is enough. 2mo
Megabooks @batsy @MicheleinPhilly I think the thing with Devon was when the kids were still at home/in school, but still, it‘s a bit ridiculous to expect a parent to not have happiness in an adult relationship as long as that person isn‘t abusive. 🤷🏻‍♀️ plus I was NOT down with their homophobia, but also have read that different places in the Caribbean are more homophobic culturally than others, especially for men with men. 2mo
Megabooks @Hooked_on_books that was weird that they were still all Alim fucking Blake. At times, it was hard to believe there was anything deeper with these characters. I was hoping for more a literary romance, but yeah…this wasn‘t that. 2mo
Well-ReadNeck @Hooked_on_books YES! To everything u said. 2mo
BarbaraBB @Leniverse Hear hear 💯! 2mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks I was probably not that invested in the book because I didn‘t even wonder if Alim needed to work but you‘re absolutely right of course! It‘s bizarre him just cooking for her on an island. 2mo
BarbaraBB @Hooked_on_books Most ridiculous was that Feyi wasn‘t even a fan in the first place, Joy was. But she became one instantly 🤣 2mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB lololol yeah, I just kept thinking, how the F does he just have time to be hanging out and teaching Feyi to cook for WEEKS?? Because she was working on that commission for 6 weeks, and his big restaurant was in Toronto I thought, so wouldn‘t he have to go there sometimes??? And then he was just going to hang with her in Brooklyn?? It didn‘t add up! (edited) 2mo
Hooked_on_books @BarbaraBB Exactly! I was rolling my eyes so hard at the second half I almost lost a contact lens! 2mo
Bookwormjillk I‘m late to the party today but @Hooked_on_books I agree with you. I just didn‘t see it. And @Megabooks good points about his work/lack of work. 2mo
Megabooks @Bookwormjillk it was just so odd because usually you have to, idk, work to be successful enough for a Michelin star. 2mo
Sparklemn Like others have said, I think they were the right people for each other at the right moment, and maybe he'll go to Brooklyn and they'll be together for a bit longer, but then they're both going to realize they're ready to move on (separately) with their lives. 2mo
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Most of us were excited to learn more about Feyi‘s art in the second half. As we talked about last week, grief is a very personal and powerful experience. Now that she‘s had her show, what do you think of her work and what she conveys? Would you go to one of her shows?

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Kitta Yes I‘d absolutely go see one of her shows! I love the idea of the rings inside a small space reflecting off everything. It reminds me a bit of the infinity rooms by Yayoi Kusama, which I went to see. 2mo
Laughterhp I think her shoes and art work sound really cool. I‘ve never really been to an art show, but I would definitely check hers out. 2mo
Megabooks @Kitta I just looked up the infinity mirror! Very cool connection. Thanks for mentioning it! 👍🏻 2mo
Megabooks @Laughterhp agreed. Her work seems very interesting! 2mo
squirrelbrain I often don‘t understand a lot of ‘modern art‘ but it sounds like there is a strong message in all of Feyi‘s art, which would make it more interesting and understandable. I didn‘t like the sound of the real blood though. 2mo
Soubhiville I think her art sounds powerful, I‘d love to see it! Often at shows and museums I‘m most touched by the unexpected. I loved hearing more about her process and I‘m glad the author went there. I wonder if this all came from their imagination or if they were influenced by art they have seen. 2mo
Leniverse The art was my favourite part of the book. 2mo
Megabooks @Leniverse 🙌🏻🙌🏻 2mo
Megabooks @squirrelbrain lol, yeah real blood is definitely intense! I love it when the art is explained at a show rather than just presented. It always makes for a richer experience. I‘m hoping our resident art expert @BarbaraBB is able to chime in from Cuba!! 🤞🏻🤞🏻 2mo
Megabooks @Soubhiville I wondered that too… whether there is a particular real-life artist that inspired Emezi‘s character‘s art?? (edited) 2mo
Cathythoughts I think her art sounds fascinating @Kitta I loved the reflecting rings too. Also , Feyi and Pooja ‘ tearing the fabric apart with their bare hands, soaking it with anger and grief and all the terrible feelings that came with being alive‘ Yes , definitely a way of dealing with grief. A creative interactive symbolic way through her art. I found that powerful. 2mo
squirrelbrain Such a powerful part of the book @Cathythoughts - thanks for reminding us of it. Clearly Feyi‘s art was impactful and helpful to other people too. 2mo
Addison_Reads The art installation was one of my favorite parts of this book and her pain from her loss was very evident as she was creating. She poured every bit of herself into her art and it was beautiful to read. 2mo
AnneCecilie I think I would have loved, but I must admit that I was a little shocked when she said she used blood. Using personal things with meaning makes it more dramatic. @Kitta Interesting comparison to Kusama. I didn‘t think about that. 2mo
Ruthiella Thanks @Kitta for mentioning Kusama! I have a hard time often visualizing what I read. I googled the artist‘s installation art and now have a better idea of what Feyi‘s work might have looked like! 2mo
Kitta @Ruthiella I‘m sure she‘s not the only person to do reflecting rooms but her work is pretty spectacular. I‘m glad the comparison helped! 2mo
Megabooks @Cathythoughts @squirrelbrain yes, that scene with Pooja was one of the best/most powerful for me too. I was one of the few (if not the only) times I was truly moved by this book. (edited) 2mo
Megabooks @Addison_Reads me too. I would‘ve loved to see the wedding ring piece. I thought that scene where she confronts Nasir there was one of the best. I think that‘s where I truly understand his immaturity. 2mo
Megabooks @AnneCecilie yes, the blood was an odd touch but I get it. 2mo
batsy Yeah, I was intrigued by it. Especially the idea of working in blood, which both interested and scared me. Like I'm sure it would get a strong reaction out of me to see something like that. I had a hard time with Feyi as a character but I loved her best when she was thinking about her work. 2mo
MrsV I would absolutely love seeing her art. 2mo
Hooked_on_books I think any of the arts are a great way to work through strong emotions or major life experiences. I also think her art shows the extent to which she is not ready to move on. Unlike others, I liked the use of blood. It made the art powerful and (literally) visceral. It‘s a shock to so many and that‘s the point. I was in medicine, so it‘s not as shocking to me. 2mo
Megabooks @batsy the blood is dramatic, but I‘m also glad it had a purpose too. The art seemed to be one of the most well thought out parts of the book. 2mo
Megabooks @MrsV for sure! 👍🏻 2mo
Well-ReadNeck Her installation and how it relates to her grief was the very best part of this story to me. 2mo
Megabooks @Hooked_on_books yeah, same. The number 1 thing I thought of when she took Nasir to her studio in Brooklyn were storage concerns as far as smell, rancidity etc! 🤣🤣 but, yes, interesting medium. 2mo
Megabooks @Well-ReadNeck agreed. Emezi seemed to have thought out the art more than parts of the plot! 2mo
BarbaraBB @Well-ReadNeck @Leniverse I agree with you both. The art was the best part. I especially liked that it‘s open to interpretation; her own wedding ring was a subtle reference to her grief. 2mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks @Squirrel I am definitely no expert of contemporary art installations, though I do enjoy them often, especially when they‘re open to interpretation. I love when authors can make art so attractive you‘d want to see it in real life. My favorite book describing art installations is 2mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain stacked that one. Thanks Barbara! 2mo
BarbaraBB Haven‘t you read it?? I‘ll send you my copy, it‘s a must read and a 5⭐️ one for me! 2mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB no I have not, and I‘d love to!! Thank you dear friend. A Barbara 5⭐️ is very rare and exciting! 2mo
BarbaraBB You‘ll enjoy it too I guess. I will send it next week! 2mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB thanks! 😘😘😘 2mo
squirrelbrain I too loved ‘What I Loved‘ when I read it a few years ago…. @BarbaraBB @Megabooks 2mo
Suet624 @barbarabb I love it when I am reminded of What I Loved. 😊❤️ 2mo
Sparklemn @Kitta Thank you so much for sharing her name. I looked up her work. Fireflies on Water is beautiful. (edited) 2mo
Sparklemn @BarbaraBB Added to my wishlist! 2mo
BarbaraBB @Sparklemn I hope you‘ll enjoy it if you read it! 2mo
31 likes42 comments
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Our final question for this book deals with your overall impression, so what did you think? Many of us have said we voted for this novel based on the author‘s other works, and since they have written in several genres, how does this one stack up? Are you more or less likely to read another of their books after finishing You Made a Fool…?

Thank you for joining us! I‘ll post the page break and a reminder about our next book tomorrow. 🏕

See All 58 Comments
Laughterhp Overall, I liked this book and am glad I read it. This author writes many different genres. I‘ve only read their middle grade other than this and I would read more of their work. 2mo
Kitta It was very different from their other novels, I‘ve read Freshwater and would love to read the others. I don‘t normally read romance so this was an interesting book for that reason too! 2mo
TrishB I didn‘t finish this book but it was more to do with subject matter than the author! I would try others. 2mo
Megabooks @Laughterhp glad you enjoyed it! I haven‘t read the author‘s MG. I‘ve loved some of her other adult books, though. 2mo
Megabooks @Kitta I don‘t normally read romances either and much preferred Vivek Oji. Freshwater has been on my TBR for years! 2mo
Megabooks @TrishB 👍🏻👍🏻 I hope you do someday! 2mo
jlhammar The only other Emezi I've read is The Death of Vivek Oji. I liked that one quite a bit, but didn't get on with this romance at all. I had to bail at 33% before my eyes rolled out of my head. I'd still be willing to try Freshwater sometime and whatever literary fiction they may write in the future, but I'm not going to be in any rush to do so. I doubt they are ever going to be a wow/love author for me. Beautiful cover art though, both US & UK. 2mo
squirrelbrain This is my first book by this author and, whilst I found it OK, it doesn‘t attract me to their others, even though most Littens comment how much they loved Vivek Oji. 2mo
Kitta @Megabooks it looks like I only gave Freshwster 3 stars, I think it read too much like a first novel and was very confusing at times! I love speculative fiction but even for me it was a lot. I really want to read Pet and Vivek Oji though. 2mo
Kitta @jlhammar I agree that this isn‘t a favourite author of mine, although I desperately wanted them to be. I‘m a big fan of experimentation in writing and I like that they try out different genres but ultimately I don‘t love the books. That said I‘ve only read this one and freshwater! Maybe I‘ll love the others. 2mo
MicheleinPhilly I have read and loved Vivek Oji and really want to read Freshwater. I would absolutely read their work in future but will stay away from genres I don‘t normally mesh with. 2mo
Soubhiville I loved Vivek Oji and Pet. Freshwater is in my kindle waiting for me. This one I have mixed feelings about. I actually appreciate it more a week out from finishing it than I did while reading it. Emezi made me think about how events and feelings don‘t always flow logically. Is it better to have strict morals or to allow yourself to follow your emotions? Are you ok with hurting someone else if it leads ultimately to your own happiness? 2mo
Leniverse I think the plot was weak and predictable, but I liked the prose and the positive messages. I would have liked more depth of character that wasn't just angst. I might try another book by the author in a different genre. 2mo
Soubhiville If the first and second halves of the book weren‘t so different I wouldn‘t have liked the book as much. I definitely will read more by Emezi! 2mo
Megabooks @jlhammar 💯💯 agree with cover art. I too will read literary fiction by them in the future, but I also enjoyed their memoir. 2mo
Megabooks @squirrelbrain I think you might enjoy Vivek Oji if you see it at the library but I respect they may not be a fit for you. 2mo
Megabooks @Kitta interesting. Maybe Freshwater should be a #BorrowNotBuy. 🤔 even though I like speculative books too. 2mo
Megabooks @MicheleinPhilly 💯 agree! 👍🏻 2mo
Megabooks @Soubhiville those are very interesting questions. I love it when I appreciate a book more later. Sometimes the ones that stick you aren‘t the 5⭐️ ones. 2mo
Megabooks @Soubhiville and I agree that the halves are very different. The first half felt like a dream or fantasy of easy connections and travel, whereas the second half was a lot messier and more realistic. 2mo
Megabooks @Leniverse agree that this book is shallow. Like @jlhammar brought up last week, I think the book would‘ve been stronger with some self reflection. 2mo
jlhammar @Megabooks Good to know about their memoir! I'd definitely be willing to give that a try sometime. Did you do print or audio for that? 2mo
Megabooks @jlhammar I read the print book. I hope you enjoy it! 2mo
Cathythoughts I wasn‘t a fan of this book. But it was fun reading it together in the camp. I won‘t be rushing to read another by this author, but I do hear good reports about Freshwater from Littens , so maybe down the road I‘ll give that a try. 2mo
sarahbarnes Thank you so much for hosting the discussion on this book! This book wasn‘t for me, but I still really want to read Freshwater and Vivek Oji! 2mo
Addison_Reads Overall I ended up enjoying this one but it does not compare to their other book, Freshwater. I highly recommend reading that one. I love this author for their unique writing style and will continue to read anything they publish. 2mo
AnneCecilie A the time that this was picked for camp Litsy I had only read Freshwater. It liked the writing, but didn‘t always understand what went on. In the meantime I read Pet and loved it so much that I bought the prequel Bitter. I was a huge romance reader (Harlequin) in my late teens/ early twenties and I still love romance movies, so I enjoyed this. And it has actually stayed with me after finishing too. 2mo
Ruthiella I think like a lot of other campers, this wasn‘t my jam but I certainly would still be interested in reading other work from the author. Thanks for hosting! It‘s been great, Even a book I didn‘t love benefits from discussion and hearing why it did work for other readers makes me appreciate it more! 2mo
Megabooks @Cathythoughts thank you for joining this discussion! I‘m sorry this wasn‘t a favorite of you, me, and several other campers, but I still got a lot out of the discussions. I hope you did, too! 2mo
Megabooks @sarahbarnes you‘re welcome! I‘m really enjoying camp. I hope you‘ll be joining us for the next book because I miss your insights! 2mo
Megabooks @Addison_Reads I‘m glad you‘ve found an auto-read author. That‘s always fun, and I‘m glad this was another pick! 2mo
Megabooks @AnneCecilie that‘s great!! I‘m looking to pick up more of their backlist. Freshwater is coming very highly recommended by many. 2mo
Megabooks @Ruthiella you‘re welcome! I 💯 agree that the discussion was beneficial, even for those of us who didn‘t love this selection. 2mo
squirrelbrain @AnneCecilie @Addison_Reads Having said I wasn‘t drawn to any of their other books, this one comes so highly recommended (and by Littens I admire!) that I may well try it sometime. 2mo
Deblovestoread I‘m not sorry I read it but it‘s not a favorite. I have had Vivek Oji on my TBR for awhile so will eventually try another of their books. 2mo
batsy I read Freshwater before this and found it quite groundbreaking in some aspects. Was really looking forward to this one but I didn't like it, despite the occasional bits about the art that I found thoughtful & interesting. This felt a bit hollow; a little like the equivalent of a social media feed in a book form. Would still love to check out some of their other books. 2mo
MrsV I‘ve read The Death of Vivek Oji by them. I really enjoyed that one. This one not so much. I didn‘t hate it. They have beautiful writing in their books, but I just did not like Feyi and Alim together. If Nasir wasn‘t in the picture I wouldn‘t have any problem with it at all. 2mo
Hooked_on_books I expected to hate it and I sure hated the second half! But I didn‘t hate the first half. I didn‘t love it, either, but there were aspects I enjoyed (like her relationship with Joy). I tried reading Freshwater a year or so ago and bailed, as I didn‘t like the writing style. I‘m willing to try Vivek Oji, but am not in any hurry and it‘ll definitely be a library book. 2mo
Well-ReadNeck I loooved Vivek Oji and really liked Freshwater. I have their memoir sitting on my TBR shelf. This was my least favorite. Mostly, I just really didn‘t like any of these characters and their other characters I found more compelling. 2mo
Megabooks @Kdgordon88 I definitely recommend Vivek Oji! 2mo
Megabooks @batsy yeah, it was definitely more shallow than I hoped it would be. 2mo
Megabooks @MrsV it was an interesting choice to have her follow a “friend” to the Caribbean then fall for his dad. Idk, sometimes I‘m done guessing why authors do things a certain way. 😂😂 2mo
Megabooks @Hooked_on_books joy was a fantastic friend! We should all have a joy! 💯💯 2mo
Megabooks @Well-ReadNeck I loved Vivek Oji as well, and I think you‘d like their memoir. 👍🏻 2mo
BarbaraBB @jlhammar @Hooked_on_books @squirrelbrain Like you I am in no hurry to read another one of their books. I was disappointed by this one, even though it got better in the second half. But there are so many authors I‘d rather read for now! Having said that, I love this discussion! It adds so much! Thanks for hosting @Megabooks 😘 2mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB I‘ve really enjoyed hosting this, but I couldn‘t have done it without pre-Saturday emails with you and @squirrelbrain 👍🏻😘 2mo
BarbaraBB Looking forward to the Straub, I will read it soon, now just started 2mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB ooo yeah, ELF is a fantastic vacation read!! I started the Straub last night and am enjoying it so far. 2mo
sarahbarnes Aw, thank you! And I‘m really enjoying camp, too! 2mo
Bookwormjillk I didn‘t like this book but I‘ve heard good things about the others so will probably give them a try. 2mo
Megabooks @Bookwormjillk 👍🏻👍🏻 I hope you like others if you try them. Glad you could join us today! 2mo
Sparklemn Her other books do not appeal to me at all, but I appreciated this book in that it reminded me that not all romance novels are fluff. I thought this had weight to it with the grieving and art. It will stick with me for a while. @megabooks Thanks for hosting! 2mo
Larkken I‘m sooo late to the party, but thoroughly enjoyed everyone else‘s takes as I tried to decide what to think of this book! Still not sure I liked it, but I did appreciate this messy, diverse, and escapist version of a romance novel! I wanted more about Feyi and Joy, though. I‘m excited to try more of Emezi‘s books. Thanks for hosting! 2mo
Megabooks @Sparklemn you‘re welcome! I‘m really glad you enjoyed it! I think a lot of people felt similarly about this being a romance with substance when people read it for #SummerHeat last month too 2mo
Megabooks @Larkken you‘re welcome! it was interesting that she tried to bring both escape and this deeply messy, emotional second half to Feyi‘s story. And Joy was a great bff! 2mo
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This book was a mixed bag for me. I‘m not a big romance reader, but found the premise intriguing. The second half of this book was much better than the first. I guess I‘m getting a bit old and didn‘t find the main character very relatable. I identified more (and am closer in age) with her older love interest. 😂Ultimately, I didn‘t find the romance to be very believable, so this was just ok for me. Extra points for the steamy scenes, though. 🥵3⭐️

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Here's a bunny at the beach for you to look at while I report that I'm not sure I'm going to finish this one. I appreciate the discussions of grief, but the story just feels like any old romance to me. I just don't think it's realistic that EVERYONE is gorgeous. It's possible I'm too old and too married to relate to a 20-something's sexual exploits. I'll decide whether I want to finish it or not after I see this weekend's #camplitsy posts.

Larkken This post made me laugh. Definitely feels like a regular romance so far to me too! 3mo
Ruthiella Everyone is gorgeous, but especially Feyi! 😆 3mo
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I personally felt this leaned a little more women's fiction, even though there is a satisfying romance. Amusingly in the author interview in back, Emezi said they liked the idea of you reading the blurb and being like no way, and then hopefully being convinced by the story. Well, lol, I didn't read the blurb, so it was all a surprise. For #RippedBodiceBingo can be used for fictional country and dance.

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After the sublime heights of Freshwater, reading You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty is to fall down to earth with an almighty thud. It feels harsh to pan this because I loved Freshwater, but here everything rubbed me the wrong way: the writing, the plot, the characters. I was waiting to finish & to be done with the inevitable ending. Sorry for being a grouch about this @Megabooks & fellow campers but I'm sure the discussion will be great!

batsy The bits I did like involved the madness of grief, about how everyone is touched by this madness, & what it takes to make art, both in terms of the creative & commercial aspects. Sadly these moments were few & far between. Feyi & Alim felt like paper thin characters; Feyi the messed up one with fire in her soul & Alim the filthy rich wise one who talks like a Hallmark card. I was most interested in Joy but she was relegated to being the sassy bff. 3mo
youneverarrived Such a shame after Freshwater being so good 😕 3mo
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TrishB At least you finished. I bailed. Great review. 3mo
batsy @youneverarrived It was! Just two very different books. 3mo
batsy @TrishB Thank you! I tend to bail if it's heading towards a pan, but I also felt like I had to do my homework for camp 😁 3mo
jlhammar Fellow grouch here! I felt much the same. Kudos to you for making it all the way through. 3mo
sarahbarnes I felt exactly the same way! I haven‘t read the other books they‘ve published and am still looking forward to those. 3mo
Ruthiella I didn‘t enjoy this one either. I will try Freshwater, however. As I understand it, this was an intentional attempt to write within the romance genre and maybe in that it succeeds. I don‘t read enough romance to say…🤔 3mo
Megabooks Yeah, this didn‘t fit with how much I‘ve enjoyed other books by them either. I 💯 agree that the characters were really thin, and I also agree Alim is a human Hallmark card! 🤣🤣🙌🏻 3mo
Cathythoughts I wasn‘t a fan either. I think the discussion will be great too. 3mo
batsy @jlhammar I'm glad to hear it! It's not fun being the only grouch 😁 3mo
batsy @sarahbarnes Me too! I still want to read those and the two YA books. 3mo
batsy @Ruthiella Yeah, the author was pretty clear they were having fun experimenting with romance. I don't read enough to know, either, but some of these romance tropes are not for me! 😅 3mo
batsy @Megabooks He really was! 😂 3mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Yes! It's clearly bringing out a lot of opinions and that's always fun 🙂 3mo
Lindy Thanks for confirming what I had already decided—that I wouldn‘t read this because it wouldn‘t be to my taste. I loved Freshwater and was annoyed by 3mo
batsy @Lindy Oh no, sorry to hear you didn't like Vivek Oji! I was looking forward to that and Dear Senthuran. Have you read their YA novels? 2mo
Lindy @batsy I read Pet and thought it was okay, but I didn‘t like it enough to go on to 2mo
Lindy @batsy I enjoyed (in a 4-star way) their poetry collection 2mo
batsy @Lindy Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I wasn't aware they had a poetry collection, as well. 2mo
Lindy @batsy It‘s always a pleasure to chat about books. But I‘m waaaay behind in posting Litsy reviews of the books I‘ve read lately. 2mo
Suet624 I felt like such a grump as I read this book, grinding my teeth throughout. 2mo
batsy @Suet624 I know, me too! 2mo
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I probably would have read this just because the cover is gorgeous.

In the first half I was feeling annoyed with Feyi, as she seemed unwilling to process any emotions. The second half I thought was much better. It‘s a romance but with messier relationships and more family drama than I think a lot of the genre has, so maybe it borders on Lit. Fic. Too?

I‘ve enjoyed other books by the author more.
Soft pick for me. ⬇️

Soubhiville Anyone else catch that the author mentions their sister Yagazie Emezi toward the end? Yagazie is a photojournalist and in the book she has interviewed Feyi! 3mo
Hooked_on_books I noticed the same last name but didn‘t know that was her sister. Cool! I agree that the cover is glorious. I don‘t quite understand the title, though. 3mo
Soubhiville @Hooked_on_books it‘s a line from a Florence + the Machine song, but I didn‘t notice them mentioned at all in the book so 🤷‍♀️ 3mo
squirrelbrain I noticed the last name too @Hooked_on_books but didn‘t think anything of it. Great review Soubhi! 3mo
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Ah well, despite loving other books by this author, this novel didn‘t wow me. While I liked the second half more than the first, I think @jlhammar nailed it that there is a lack of self reflection by the characters that ultimately puts this firmly in so-so territory. However, I am looking forward to the discussion on Saturday! #CampLitsy @BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain 🏕

jlhammar Great discussion questions this past Saturday! Even though I didn‘t get on with the book, it was still fun to talk about. I‘m with you in that I won‘t rule out future books by Emezi based on this one alone. 3mo
Soubhiville Agreed! 3mo
squirrelbrain Great review Meg - and fantastic insight by @jlhammar ! 3mo
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Cinfhen This did feel like a departure from their other books. 3mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen it did for sure. 3mo
Megabooks @squirrelbrain thank you and absolutely! 3mo
Megabooks @Soubhiville 👍🏻👍🏻 3mo
Megabooks @jlhammar thank you! I was really pleased to have so much participation, especially since quite a few of us didn‘t love it. I appreciate this insight from you in particular! 3mo
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Not my favorite #camplitsy read. While Emezi‘s writing is very good, I found the pacing to be off and couldn‘t buy in to the central romance. I think the point of the book is to be a challenging, uncomfortable concept though, which it definitely achieved. The audiobook narration was great.

Hooked_on_books I‘m glad I went with the audio. Bahni Turpin can do no wrong, in my opinion! 3mo
cariashley @Hooked_on_books completely agree!! 3mo
squirrelbrain It sounds like a lot of Littens enjoyed the audio of this one. (The book itself….not so much! 🤣) 3mo
Megabooks Good point about the pacing. Bahni is great! 3mo
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Feyi‘s husband died in a car accident 5 yrs ago. For the past 5 yrs she has being grieving her husband and the life she thought they would have. Now she feels it time for her to start dating again.

A book about grief and taking a chance to start again.

Most of this story takes place at the island and I just loved the description of the island.

This book also had me crying more than once.


squirrelbrain Great review Anne - glad you enjoyed it! 3mo
Megabooks So glad you loved it!! 3mo
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I fully expected to hate this and would not have read it if not for #CampLitsy, so take this with a grain of salt. I did a lot of eye rolling in the second half, but I found a lot to like in the first half. There‘s some good characters in here (especially Joy, who I loved) and some interesting explorations of grief. But, yeah, not a book for me.

squirrelbrain Great review Holly! I preferred the second half to the first; the storyline moved on a bit I felt after being rather stagnant in the first half. 3mo
Megabooks This was not as strong as her other books. Great review! 3mo
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So many conflicted feelings. I greatly admire authors who are able to write across multiple genres but ultimately, I don‘t know how successful they were with this one. Granted, romance is not a genre I read but it just didn‘t feel earned. I‘m looking forward to another campfire next weekend though! I‘ll bring weiners! 🌭😜

TrishB 👍🏻 to finishing! 3mo
MicheleinPhilly @TrishB I was determined to! I am so crap at group activities I refused to let this one stop my participation momentum! 😂 3mo
TrishB I am also crap, but am learning to live with my failures 😁 3mo
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Cinfhen I thought the beginning was really engaging but then the book fizzled for me. 3mo
squirrelbrain Great review Michele! Funny @Cinfhen - I thought the second half was better than the beginning! 3mo
Cinfhen @BarbaraBB also liked the second half better @squirrelbrain 3mo
batsy Nice review! I like your generous reading despite not quite liking it 🙂 3mo
Megabooks I think a lot of us didn‘t love this as much as their other books, but I‘m glad we still had a good discussion! 👍🏻👍🏻 3mo
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Welcome back campers! I hope you enjoyed the vacation last week. Today, we‘re discussing through chapter 11 (before Feyi‘s art show). No spoilers please!

For me, there‘s an element of fantasy to the first half of the book, and these quick connections are one reason why. After years of denying herself, Feyi finds three men who stir feelings in her right in a row. How do you feel about quick connections in both life and literature? #CampLitsy

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BarbaraBB Feyi had been grieving for 5 years, meets 3 men and all are on fire immediately. Too easy for me to be believable. And I didn‘t see what it added to the story 🤷🏻‍♀️ 3mo
Chelsea.Poole This instant connection (with all 3!) was a bit much for me. I can see how you could consider this fantastical @megabooks For me, I have to have a deep connection with someone. But, I don‘t mind reading this type of connection in fiction. Live other lives, ya know? 😊 3mo
Soubhiville @BarbaraBB it does seem strange that she grieved for 5 years, then the moment she decided she was ready to date it was like she flipped a switch and immediately turned on feelings…. That said I do believe in chemistry, not necessarily love at first sight but mutual-interest-at-first-sight. But the abruptness is jarring. In fact I didn‘t like that the book hit hard with the sex scene right from the first line. 3mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB it is too easy. For me, I would‘ve liked more struggle in the beginning. @Soubhiville and yes, to come into the book with her in the bathroom like that, I was thinking “whoa girl!” But in a way I was thinking you do you. As a friend, I think I would‘ve been supportive like joy, but it‘s not anything I‘d do. 3mo
Megabooks @Chelsea.Poole I like deeper connections as well. And part of the fantasy was thinking it was like what happened is what a teen girl would‘ve written in a diary, like “he will be a hot guy with a nice sports car and a famous father with a giant compound in the Caribbean. Every guy will think I‘m sooo beautiful and I‘ll have a cool best friend too!” 3mo
Oryx No, this wasn't believable to me. Esp with Alim - it's like have a couple of proper conversations at least! 3mo
Soubhiville @Megabooks Yes as a friend I‘d laugh and be happy for her if that‘s what she wants. Not my style either. 3mo
Laughterhp I think you can find someone instantly attractive but no I don‘t believe in instalove. I wonder if she just wasn‘t going out or actually looking at people but it didn‘t seem like that. But for it to happen 3 times in a short period of time is a bit unbelievable. 3mo
Megabooks @Oryx I agree that Alim was the least believable. It‘s almost as if his celebrity made her more interested or made her feel she knew him better right away. Maybe it‘s that way when you meet someone you already admire? 3mo
Megabooks @Laughterhp I agree about attraction. It seems easier to catch an eye with a great outfit or a sparkling anecdote. But love, for me, is deeper than what you‘d know at a party or first meeting. 3mo
TrishB Not believable for me at all. But I‘m not judging if it‘s what people want to do 🤷‍♀️ 3mo
BarbaraBB @Soubhiville I do believe in the chemistry too but three times in a row 😉?! 3mo
BarbaraBB @TrishB I agree, it‘s not about what she does, it‘s about the storyline for me. 3mo
TrishB @BarbaraBB yes agree- where was it adding depth etc? 3mo
Megabooks @TrishB @BarbaraBB interesting point in ask how does it help the narrative. What purpose do these choices serve? 3mo
Leniverse I'm not so surprised that she suddenly made a lot of connections. She made the conscious decision to flip that switch, and she has been starved for connection. Additionally, the first one was just a physical attraction. So I'm fine with that. But the struck by lightning insta thing with Alim was a stretch. 3mo
MicheleinPhilly While I do believe in having an insta-connection with someone (true story: I met my wife 18 years ago today ☺️), it didn‘t at all ring true to me that it would happen 3 times in such quick succession. I can sort of see where each man is meeting different needs Feyi has, but I do wish Emezi would have let each relationship “breathe” a bit more. It all feels very rushed. 3mo
Bookwormjillk I‘ve only read until chapter 11 so maybe I‘m completely wrong it seemed like it‘s being set up that Alim what‘s meant to be, but to me she seemed to have the most chemistry with Milan. 3mo
squirrelbrain This wasn‘t love at first sight - most definitely lust at first sight. I agree with everyone that it wasn‘t believable at all - maybe one time but not all three! 3mo
jlhammar I guess I believe in an instant physical attraction (though often that can change when you actually get to know someone!), but this just felt like beautiful people lusting after beautiful people (and acting on it) again and again and again. Not my cup of tea. I just don't care to read about someone selecting the jewelry for their nipple piercing (or something along those lines) based on how sexy it will look through their bikini top. 3mo
Cathythoughts I got the first guy .. the instant attraction at a party and she had her reasons for going for it. I could believe that happening. I don‘t get the Alim attraction , I‘m allergic to it 🤷‍♀️ love/ lust at first sight with a ‘ charismatic celebrity ‘ … 3mo
BarbaraBB @MicheleinPhilly Exactly. It felt so rushed, they didn‘t even had the time to become realistic or even imaginable. 3mo
Megabooks @Leniverse flipping a switch is a good way of putting it. I‘ve also heard availability being like a taxi with a light on. Suddenly you get passengers when you‘re open to them. 3mo
Megabooks @MicheleinPhilly aww! Congratulations! I bet there is a good story there. It is a good point that each meets a different need, but statistically it is quite unlikely to have three in a row. 3mo
Megabooks @Bookwormjillk I think it will be interesting to see how Emezi plays out the connection between Feyi and Alim in the second half. It definitely seems the book is pivoting that direction. 3mo
Megabooks @squirrelbrain 💯💯 I can get behind list across a room, but I wonder how much knowing Alim from tv played into that connection. 🤔 3mo
Megabooks @jlhammar there‘s definitely a lot of sexual tension and talk in the first half. I find it hard to believe that many men were automatically lusting after her. Some people are hot or conventionally attractive, but no one is everyone‘s type. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ 3mo
Megabooks @Cathythoughts yes! I‘m glad you brought up the celebrity because that seems to be an extra artificial layer there. I wonder what she will think as she gets to know him. Will her feelings change? (edited) 3mo
cariashley The connections with Milan and Nasir seemed shallow at best and were actually pretty believable to me. The whole Alim situation is much harder to follow. I think part of my problem is only being in Feyi‘s head - I‘m used to romances where you pivot between the two protagonists. 3mo
batsy I'm with @Cathythoughts the insta lust with Milan made sense because she was looking for fun after years of being closed off, & that played out OK on the page. It's the Nasir bit coming so soon after that felt patently like a plot device, because without Nasir we can't get to Alim. & the Alim bit made me eye-rolly despite my best intentions, because the perfect being who also happens to be a charismatic celeb dripping with money thing is ... Lol. 3mo
squirrelbrain @MicheleinPhilly - aw, congrats to you both! 3mo
batsy But the author has mentioned that they wanted to write a book squarely in the romance genre, & that aspect of a fantasy or ideal partner of course plays a part in how the romance plot is usually structured. 3mo
batsy @MicheleinPhilly That's lovely 💕 3mo
squirrelbrain Yes, @Cathythoughts @Megabooks - I wonder how much was because she knew him from TV. Was it also slight one-upmanship with Joy, I wonder? She was always saying how much Joy would be freaking out. 3mo
squirrelbrain Great point! @cariashley I wonder if we‘ll see more of Alim‘s POV in part two? Maybe Milan and Nasir were bit-part actors and that is why we didn‘t see their viewpoints? 3mo
Ruthiella I believe in both love and lust at first sight. That didn‘t bother me. What I didn‘t quite believe was the connection with Nasir when he and Milan were friends. Even if she and Milan were just f***-buddies. I‘m not quite sure what role Milan is supposed to play in the larger story unless it was to just show how starved Feyi is after five years of mourning and abstinence? 3mo
Deblovestoread So many good comments. I believe in an instant attraction, an immediate “zing” that makes you sit up and take notice but 3 times in such a short amount of time is pretty unbelievable. 3mo
Cathythoughts @squirrelbrain Interesting point about one-upmanship with Joy 👍🏻never saw that ! 3mo
Deblovestoread I keep thinking of her conversation with Alim about who they loved after their loss. Alim chose his children over love and I believe he would do the same if the choice was between them and Feyi. I also keep circling back to Feyi and Joy. It wasn‘t the right time then but maybe now….I‘m off to find out. 3mo
Well-ReadNeck Like so many of you, Milan I totally get. Alim (especially in his early scenes) just had my Spidey senses tingling. So many Red Flags! 🚩 The author seems to be trying to gloss over or rehabilitate, but I keep wanting to yell “RUN!!” 3mo
squirrelbrain @Ruthiella - I too wondered about the ‘point‘ of Milan. If the story is about the ‘battle‘ between Nasir and Alim, then Milan just seems a bit of an add-on. 3mo
squirrelbrain Looking forward to hearing your thoughts once you‘ve ‘found out‘! @Kdgordon88 3mo
squirrelbrain @Well-ReadNeck - there were quite a lot of red flags weren‘t there? He seems a bit ‘too good to be true‘ and maybe even a bit creepy - slimy?! 3mo
Hooked_on_books I agree with so many here. Insta-attraction one after another? No. But certainly one can be immediately attracted to a person. I remember that happening to me years ago, then after I talked to him a couple times, 🤮. 😂 He loved nothing more than the sound of his own voice! And it‘s not my MO to end up in a bathroom with someone right after I lay eyes on them, so that‘s a good thing! 3mo
Kitta I didn‘t understand the relationship with Nasir, he seemed like just a way to bring Feyi to Alim. The relationship with Milan I understood and I was expecting more like that (sex scenes etc) throughout the novel because it‘s a romance. I‘ve never really read romance before though so 🤷🏻‍♀️ maybe I‘m wrong. 3mo
squirrelbrain That‘s good to know @Hooked_on_books 🤣🤣 3mo
squirrelbrain The relationship with Nasir was very different to that with Milan, wasn‘t it? @Kitta It seemed more like a friendship (on Feyi‘s side certainly) but I think the Nasir / Alim dynamic will become a larger part of the book. After all Alim is, according to the blurb, the one man she shouldn‘t fall in love with. 3mo
Kitta @squirrelbrain yeah, I don‘t want to think all relationships need sex but clearly sex is important to Feyi and I‘m surprised with how slow she‘s taking it. I didn‘t actually read the blurb! I wanted to go in without an idea of where it was going haha. I‘ve finished the book now though and I‘m interested in what people will think of the ending! 3mo
Megabooks @cariashley that‘s a good point about only seeing one side of the story. We don‘t know what the men were feeling towards her. 3mo
Megabooks @batsy 💯💯 about Nasir being a plot device to get her into an art show and meeting Alim. It was just an odd chain of events! 3mo
Megabooks @batsy yes, and I noticed they seemed to dedicate the book to a partner and their very good memoir dealt a lot with gender identity and relationship issues, so I hope they are in a good place themselves to write a romance. 💜💜 3mo
Megabooks @Ruthiella yeah, I think we‘re all getting caught up in various ways in the oddity of the three men close together. And yes, I imagine she was very lonely in a lot of ways even with Joy being such a good friend. 3mo
Megabooks @Kdgordon88 yeah, I‘m wondering where she‘s going with the loss Feyi and Alim both experienced and how it will play out. 3mo
Megabooks @Well-ReadNeck so many red flags with all three of them for me! I think Nasir seems to expect more from her even though he‘s trying to be patient. That‘s bothering me. Like all his patience will 💯 pay off in the end. @squirrelbrain (edited) 3mo
Megabooks @Hooked_on_books yup! 💯💯 it‘s equally surprising that none were truly bad (at least as of now) because sometimes the slick charismatic ones are the ones you‘ve got to watch! 3mo
Megabooks @Kitta yeah, Nasir seemed to just be that bridge to get her to the Caribbean and Alim. I wonder what role he‘ll play in the second half. 3mo
KarenUK I‘m definitely a believer in the insta-connection. I married my hubby if 20 yrs after one evening together and moved countries! 😉 3mo
KarenUK I actually did like the ‘jarring‘ sex scene in the first chapter. It immediately the scene for the kind of sex positive way the story was going. I‘m not sure there was any instant connection with them. It felt very much like a ‘ripping the band aid off‘ motive for her…. And her need for something so shallow to keep her trauma at arms length. There was definitely animal attraction with Nasir, but I think she was riding a wave of ‘good‘ feelings…. 3mo
KarenUK ….. after shutting herself off for so long. I feels like even she knows she can‘t trust how she‘s feeling, but she‘s leaning in to the excitement and joy of new attraction and just going with it, because it feels better, and good, after having a wall up for so long. In my 20‘s I remember that feeling of being free, and being swept up by the newness and fun of every attraction. 3mo
Suet624 @BarbaraBB You had me - and had me chuckling- at the very first comment of this thread. In complete agreement. (edited) 3mo
Megabooks @KarenUK wow! That is a truly epic instant connection! 💜💜 3mo
Megabooks @KarenUK that‘s true! I think many of us in this discussion are a bit older than Feyi, and I had forgotten how much more flexible connections were in one‘s 20s. Most people are single and looking for new experiences. Also, great point about this being sex positive! Love that! 3mo
Sparklemn @KarenUK I also liked the sex scene in the first chapter. Like you said - ripping off the band-aid. And then I wasn't surprised that it fizzled out soon after. I do think that Nasir is going to stay on the “friend“ shelf. We'll see what happens with Alim. 3mo
Megabooks @Sparklemn that‘s a good point about ripping off a band aid. I think part of what jarred me is why now? Why this party? Maybe I missed that… 3mo
Sparklemn @Megabooks Yes, completely agree. Why now? 3mo
MrsV I don‘t have a problem with the whole “insta love” plot, but 3 people in a handful of chapters. One being one of the guys best friends, and the other that friends Dad?? 3mo
Megabooks @MrsV yeah, it was definitely a strange chain of events… 3mo
42 likes70 comments
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Several campers and other readers have noted in posts and reviews that Emezi uses a lot of swearing to discuss sexuality in this book. I agree. I don‘t often read romance, but her characters do use more 4-letter words than most books I read. Do you have an opinion about it? Did this affect your feelings towards the book? #CampLitsy

See All 65 Comments
BarbaraBB All the swearing and use of the f-word doesn‘t offend me at all but I found their conversations rather one dimensional and not very clever (Call me a snob) 🤣 3mo
Chelsea.Poole I wasn‘t offended. I don‘t read much romance either, but I‘m well aware that there‘s muchhhhh more intense language and scenes out there 😅 3mo
Soubhiville I‘m not offended by the language either, but with it kicking off from the first line it sure does make an impression. 3mo
Oryx Hmmm - I actually didn't notice that. Not sure what it says about me 😂. I actually don't swear very much in real life, but it doesn't bother me when other people do in real life (unless it's meant as aggression) or fiction or TV. 3mo
Laughterhp I don‘t think I actually noticed that. I guess it‘s true this book had more swearing but it didn‘t bother me. 3mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB I think lack of cleverness is a good way of putting how I felt in the first half. 3mo
Megabooks @Chelsea.Poole true! I think what hit me is that it was every paragraph, especially between Joy and Feyi. 3mo
Megabooks @Soubhiville yes! I think you and I both noted that very abrupt introduction. I didn‘t hate it, but it was a bit of a surprise. I think it prepared me for the first half well though! 😂😂 3mo
Megabooks @Oryx lol! 😂 i think it‘s good to be open minded about how others use language. I tend to notice swearing. Maybe it‘s because I‘m from the South and proper ladies don‘t swear. I do a lot for emphasis, but not as often as these characters. 😂 3mo
Megabooks @Laughterhp 👍🏻👍🏻 it‘s interesting that what‘s glaring to one reader isn‘t to another. 🤔 3mo
TrishB I‘m with @Oryx I didn‘t really notice. I do swear a lot so maybe that‘s why I don‘t notice. I‘m a big believer in if you don‘t like something don‘t watch, read or listen and go for something else 🤷‍♀️ 3mo
Megabooks @TrishB that is an excellent point that perhaps readers should look elsewhere if it is a big deal. 3mo
TrishB I would also apply that theory to myself of course 😁 3mo
Leniverse The opening set the tone, so I actually thought it went fairly mild from there on. 🤷‍♀️ It's not how I speak, but I don't mind it. It seems realistic/authentic enough for the characters. I don't get the sense that it was written that way for shock value. 3mo
Bookwormjillk I think since I‘m doing the audiobook I didn‘t notice it as much. I‘m better at tuning out that way. The only time I noticed was when they were in line for ice cream and the mom with the kids glared at them. That‘s right mom! 3mo
squirrelbrain I don‘t think I noticed the swearing so much as the sex-talk, which seemed to be all Feyi and Joy talked about. It made me wonder what they talked about in the many years before Feyi suddenly found her ‘mojo‘ again?! 3mo
MicheleinPhilly I didn‘t even notice but I‘m a bit of a potty mouth. 😂 The dialogue between Joy and Feyi, and indeed their whole relationship, reminded me of Issa and Molly on Insecure. 3mo
Cathythoughts I‘m not a swearer by nature. It was a bit repetitive with the F word… overused and therefore started annoying me. I agree with @Leniverse in that I don‘t think it was written for shock value. It seemed the natural way of speaking, I have friends who get many curses into one sentence … it‘s just their normal way of talking. (edited) 3mo
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain That‘s a good one! What on earth did they talk about before they could talk sex 🤣? 3mo
jlhammar I'm pretty sure I would have disliked this book just as much minus the vulgarity and coarse language. Similar to what @BarbaraBB wrote, there just wasn't enough depth for me. And I'm sure that was the point. They set out to write a sexy, joyful genre romance, not a thought-provoking literary novel. Emezi said they “spent [their] 20s in Brooklyn...being hoes...partying...having a great time.“ I guess I can appreciate this being true to that. 3mo
Megabooks @TrishB 😁😁 3mo
Megabooks @Leniverse good point that the opening in the bathroom set the scene for not only her and Milan but also the way she relates to and converses with Joy. 3mo
Megabooks @Bookwormjillk lol!! I wondered about the audiobook. Are you enjoying the narration? 3mo
Megabooks @squirrelbrain good point! I don‘t get much about what the foundation of their friendship is. But then again, I don‘t rehash my life story with long-term friends, so in that way, I guess it was normal. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤔 3mo
Megabooks @MicheleinPhilly lol! I can see that Michele. 😉😉😂 I‘ve read Issa‘s book but never see the show. I don‘t have hbo rn. ☹️ 3mo
Megabooks @Cathythoughts yeah, maybe this is more a Meg-is-from-the-south thing. I agree that it was natural for the characters and that it was noticeable for me. 3mo
Megabooks @jlhammar yeah, they have written so many genres that I think some of them are going to be misses. I finished a couple of days ago, and I‘m having trouble coming up with a review because the first and second halves seemed like different books. That‘s all I‘ll say. 🤐🤐🤐 but yeah, the first half was shallow as a wading pool for me too. (edited) 3mo
Bookwormjillk @Megabooks it‘s a good narration! 3mo
cariashley @BarbaraBB ha that‘s spot on, totally agree with you! I‘d also add that the audio narration works well for this one. I think I‘d actually fully dislike it in print, it‘s at least entertaining on audio. 3mo
batsy The swearing didn't bother me at all. But like @BarbaraBB I felt the dialogue a bit stilted & one dimensional. It felt a bit like the author was trying hard to mimic the Instagram vernacular of self-care & feminism which often feels like the characters were talking in slogans. Whereas in Freshwater you could see that the author is capable of writing with great depth. So again I felt this was part of their attempt to write an entertaining romance. 3mo
Ruthiella I might be showing my age, but it bugged me. Mostly because it‘s so boring and repetitive to read. Like, find another adjective and adverb? 3mo
Well-ReadNeck I don‘t mind it. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Feels authentic to me. Goes with age, trying to find a place to enjoy sex in the hostile world of toxic masculinity. Take back the words. Also, finding an almost HS mentality to cope with/avoid tragedy. 3mo
squirrelbrain It‘s so interesting how we‘re all seeing this differently - surely some of this must reflect our ages, backgrounds and upbringings? For those of you who didn‘t like the language would you have bailed (or did you) if this hadn‘t been a #camplitsy choice? 3mo
marleed My entire career was spent on army installations so I‘m well accustomed to hearing (and using) the word f**k. I did think it was used so often here (noun,verb, adjective) that it lost it‘s effect and took away from the story. Have you ever watched a comedy routine so filled with expletives that it‘s no longer as funny as it was when the routine began? Like that. (edited) 3mo
Cinfhen I did audio and the language felt authentic / not anything worse than I‘ve heard before and it was certainly similar in 3mo
Hooked_on_books The swearing doesn‘t bother me. But I also don‘t hesitate to swear. However, the use of sweating for sex is interesting. I feel like referring to it as “fucking” suggests there‘s no great connection or meaning there and the person is just getting off. It makes it shallow and a little sad, in my opinion. On the other hand, I LOVE Joy. I think she‘s a great character. 3mo
Kitta I live in brooklyn and I found the language pretty true to what I hear from others talking and the amount of swearing didn‘t bother me, I didn‘t even notice it I don‘t think. 3mo
squirrelbrain That‘s maybe why many of us aren‘t feeling that connection @Hooked_on_books - too much sex-swearing. What is is that you love about Joy? For me, she comes across as very caring and supportive of Feyi. 3mo
Kitta @Hooked_on_books yes! I wanted more of Joy! She‘s a great character. 3mo
Hooked_on_books @squirrelbrain Her name defines what she brings to the story—joy. She enters and the pages just light up. She‘s so over the top that I find her wildly entertaining, though we‘ve also glimpsed some depth. She just delights me. 3mo
Megabooks @Bookwormjillk @cariashley @Cinfhen y‘all are making me wish I‘d gone audio, but I don‘t take notes as well listening as in print. 3mo
Megabooks @batsy yes, Vivek oji was much deeper too. (Freshwater is still on my TBR.) Their writing is usually a lot smarter than what I saw in the first half. It was kind of a letdown, tbh. 3mo
Megabooks @Ruthiella yes, the dialogue was repetitive and like @batsy said, very of the moment social media speak. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 3mo
Megabooks @squirrelbrain very good point, Helen! I think language is such a cultural or regional thing in addition to being tied to things like career or family. 3mo
Megabooks @Well-ReadNeck excellent point about taking back language. 💯 agree that it could be an age thing and reclaiming language is huge! 3mo
Megabooks @marleed yes, it was quite repetitive. I felt like they had the same conversation about sex six dozen times! 3mo
Megabooks @Hooked_on_books interesting thought about fuck being a shallow word for sex, and yes, joy would definitely be a fun friend, but I have a feeling I‘d find her overwhelming irl! 3mo
Megabooks @Kitta thanks for the local perspective! 3mo
Ruthiella @squirrelbrain I would not have picked it up were it not for #CampLitsy. I am still interested in reading their debut, however. (edited) 3mo
Megabooks @Ruthiella I‘m not sure I‘d want to read more by them if I hadn‘t read Vivek Oji first. I‘m definitely going back and picking up Freshwater too. And I‘m not ruling out any new books they release based on this one. 3mo
KarenUK I‘m with @MicheleinPhilly and @TrishB I‘m a bit of a potty mouth myself. And I love the ‘Insecure‘ reference. That‘s how their relationship felt to me. I wasn‘t bothered by the language. I spent my twenties in London, being a bit of a ‘hoe‘ too! So this felt very authentic and natural on the page to me. I don‘t agree that sex without connection is ‘sad‘ or ‘shallow‘. It can just be physically pleasurable and fun, no more, no less. 3mo
Suet624 @batsy your comment was really helpful. I think you‘re spot on. I know the type of writing Emezi has done and this was so far from that that I just floundered reading this story. I wanted to enjoy it but just kept muttering while I was reading it. 3mo
Suet624 I swear. I have no problem with swearing. However, I started the book being really surprised by how much swearing there was. I live in an area with lots of colleges, I hang out at events with lots of college students, and I haven‘t heard the word ‘fuck‘ used as many times as I did in this book. Color me surprised by her repetitive use of the word. 3mo
Megabooks @KarenUK excellent points!! 👍🏻👍🏻 3mo
Megabooks @Suet624 while I don‘t mind swearing either, I found it notable how often she and joy dropped the F-bomb. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 3mo
batsy @Suet624 I know what you mean! I still haven't finished because I'm struggling; I have about 20% left. I find the 2nd half worse than the 1st & am basically hate-reading it to get to the finish line at this point 😩 3mo
Sparklemn Like others have said, I didn't notice the swearing at all. The sex discussions remind me of being young and my friends and our antics. While I'm enjoying this book now, I would have loved it back then. 3mo
Suet624 @batsy hate-reading is the worst. 3mo
Megabooks @batsy oooo…yeah. Hate reading can be awful! @Suet624 👎🏻👎🏻 3mo
Megabooks @Sparklemn true that they (the characters) and the author are all young. 3mo
MrsV I swear with the best of them, so that didn‘t bother me so much. 3mo
Megabooks @MrsV yeah, it seemed not yo bother very many of us, but it just stood out to me. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ 3mo
32 likes65 comments
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And our last question before we open up the camp for later activities. 😉

Feyi tragically lost her husband. This has affected the art she makes and the relationships she has with other characters. How well do you think she‘s coping with his death?

Thanks for joining us! Be sure to meet back for campfire s‘mores tonight and return next Saturday to discuss the whole book! 🏕 #CampLitsy

See All 56 Comments
BarbaraBB The grief part was one of the strong parts of the book for me. That was a storyline that worked well and the relation to het art was very clear to me. I‘d have preferred to hear more about her art. 3mo
Chelsea.Poole These past several years have been rough on my family. I read for escape and though it‘s nice to see yourself in fiction, I was hoping for something a little more lighthearted. Though I brought that to the table as a reader, I can appreciate a deeper level to Feyi and her subsequent interactions with others based on her grief. 3mo
Soubhiville @BarbaraBB Me too! I wanted to dive in to her art. I also wanted her to dig into her feelings about loss- she seems to be repressing. Which is understandable, everyone has to grieve at their own pace. I have a feeling the second half of the book will lead her to explore her feelings deeper and hopefully heal. 3mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB I would‘ve liked to know more about her art too. Maybe we‘ll find out more when she has her show. 3mo
Megabooks @Chelsea.Poole I‘m sorry to hear that Chelsea. Escapism is one of my favorite parts about reading as well, and when I do (rarely) read romance, I expect something light. Maybe that ms unfair of me to paint a whole genre that way. I think it will be interesting to see what more comes out about this in the second half. 3mo
Oryx @BarbaraBB definitely agree with the art thing- that's the most interesting part, and at the halfway point I wanted to know more and how it connected with her grief. 3mo
Megabooks @Soubhiville yes, 💯 grief is a very personal thing. She‘s definitely looking for escape in her relationships in the first half. Maybe that‘s the right choice for her. 3mo
Laughterhp I think she‘s coping with it well. I‘ve never lost anyone like that so I can‘t relate but her grief definitely feels real. And I think she‘s working through it. This was definitely a heavier topic for a romance novel but I think it‘s working. 3mo
Megabooks @Laughterhp yes, it touches on more painful topics than many romances I‘ve read. (I did go through a phase in 2012-13.) But reading it so close to @BarbaraBB and @Cinfhen ‘s buddy read a few weeks ago, maybe it‘s written about more than I realize. It wasn‘t husband loss grief in that what, but it felt similar it having a heavier topic. (edited) 3mo
TrishB I think 5 years after this still feels very real and her art was really interesting and yes, as others have said, some more focus would be good. 3mo
Megabooks @TrishB 💯💯 agree that it would still be a raw thing that she‘s working through. 3mo
Leniverse The "working through grief through art" part is the interesting bit of the book. And the food descriptions, I love those too. Looking forward to the exhibition. 3mo
Bookwormjillk I agree with most here. I want to hear more about her art. 3mo
Bookwormjillk @Megabooks I keep thinking of Seven Days when reading this too. 3mo
squirrelbrain I‘m not sure that she is coping very well @Laughterhp - at the moment it feels like she‘s repressed a lot of feelings which have suddenly come to the surface. I don‘t feel that her grief is fully explored yet, and I wonder if we‘re going to find out more in the second half as I think there‘s a feeling of guilt there too. 3mo
Leniverse As for it not being as light and fluffy as a lot of romances, honestly that's why I only read queer romance. They tend to deal with all sorts of bleak topics, not just the obvious ones of homophobia and coming out, and avoid a lot of gender stereotypes. And on that note I have to say that while I don't particularly care who, if anyone, Fayi ends up with, I lost respect for Nasir over his vehement denial of his father's sexuality. 3mo
BarbaraBB @Bookwormjillk I did too but so far I admit I prefer 3mo
BarbaraBB @Leniverse Yes!! That was an interesting topic, suddenly brought up. I hope to explore that one a bit more later on! 3mo
MicheleinPhilly @squirrelbrain I too am hoping this is explored more in the second half. While I don‘t like to judge others‘ coping mechanisms, Emezi wrote some really lovely things about grief that I‘d like to see more of. For instance, there was a breathtakingly beautiful passage on page 4 about “disappearing” in New York. I want more of that. Her conversations with Alim touch on this too, but then her lady parts have to go and bring those to a screeching halt. (edited) 3mo
Cathythoughts I guess how long is a piece of string? .. she‘s is dealing as she knows how … it will take as long as it takes. Her art is her main way , and now she is exploring other relationships, physical/ friendly/ sexual … I dont know how a young girl would deal with and come back from such a tragedy. I think she‘s doing ok , maybe Alim will play a role in it all 🤷‍♀️ (edited) 3mo
Cathythoughts Well , in the book , Alim plays a huge part in her healing … but the lack of depth in the writing makes me not take it all so seriously. 3mo
Cathythoughts @BarbaraBB yes at halfway point , I hope there will be some exploration of her grief and her art in the second half. (edited) 3mo
jlhammar I would have liked a bit more Feyi interiority and self-reflection to get a real sense of her grief. We are told, but I didn't really feel it (at least not for the first third). But again, that's probably the literary fiction reader in me wanting the romance genre to be something it isn't. I guess there could be healthier ways to get back to a joyful, fulfilling life in the wake of loss, but she is young so perhaps this is realistic. 3mo
Soubhiville @Leniverse agreed! I got mad at him for his reaction there too. Then I wondered is he denying the rumors because of his own feelings or to protect his dad‘s reputation in the public eye- and if the second is that for his own sake or is it his dad‘s wish to stay closeted as far as the media is concerned? The topic could go deeper but that light brush of homophobia bothered me. 3mo
Megabooks @Leniverse yes, it was really interesting that she made Feyi an artist. Really interested to discuss her art in more depth next week. 👍🏻 3mo
Megabooks @Bookwormjillk @BarbaraBB it was interesting reading these two books close together. I think ultimately both were just okay for me, but for different reasons. I know you got more from seven days, Barbara. 3mo
Megabooks @Leniverse yes, I think we‘ll get into Alim more next week. I was expecting an hoping for a more queer romance, especially after reading Dear Senthuran and Vivek Oji where they explore a lot of queer topics, but this was very straight in the first half. I guess we‘ll see how it develops. @Soubhiville it seems like they just touch on a lot of the topics whose exploration would‘ve made for a deeper read. (edited) 3mo
Megabooks @MicheleinPhilly ugh yes! I hope we hear more about her feelings and less about her loins second half, but that‘s just me! I almost asked a question about reinventing oneself in NYC and why so many authors choose to do that. I loved the grief in they wrote about in (edited) 3mo
Megabooks @Cathythoughts that‘s interesting that you see it as a string. I guess I‘m a ways her grief ties together many of her choices and relationships. 3mo
Megabooks @jlhammar good point!!! There is no self reflection!! Wow you hit the nail on the head about why this seemed fake to me. 3mo
squirrelbrain Yes, @jlhammar - such a perceptive comment, you hit the nail on the head. We are being *told* that Feyi is grieving but we‘re not feeling it (yet?) 3mo
squirrelbrain @Bookwormjillk @BarbaraBB - I also compared these two books whilst reading. I too got more from Seven Days; I think because I felt more empathy with the characters and willed them to be happy. Is it terrible that I‘m not wishing the same for Feyi? I don‘t wish that she is sad but I don‘t really care. 😬 3mo
squirrelbrain @MicheleinPhilly -hopefully this theme will develop more in the second part…. 3mo
Bookwormjillk @squirrelbrain heh, yeah I can see that 😄 3mo
Ruthiella I agree with @jlhammar , I didn‘t quite feel the grief that Feyi felt for Jonah. The reader doesn‘t get any real insight into their relationship. 3mo
batsy Good point by @jlhammar I felt the grief aspect could have been more fleshed out by showing Feyi's thoughts about what her relationship with Jonah was like. But the idea of self-expression through art, & the way in which the art world operates, is something that intrigues me & I would have liked more. There's a great line about Feyi being exhausted "from whipping her thoughts into a neat line" after doing her installation. 3mo
batsy I also found Joy's backstory fascinating, because its a different kind of grief. About a family not being able to accept someone different. When Feyi thinks about Joy there's this great line: "Other people's stories could sink in like that and fuck you all the way up, especially when it was family." I would like that aspect of Feyi & Joy to come out more, but I guess this is not quite the book to dwell too much on that. 3mo
Well-ReadNeck I think she still grief stricken but trying to push herself forward. But, the grief shows through in the ways she simultaneously has her guard up and wants only meaningless relationships and has her guard down with respect to Alim 3mo
Hooked_on_books I feel like we see her grief when she‘s at dinner with Nasir and he asks her why she doesn‘t want anything serious. Then it becomes clear how much farther she has to go in exploring and dealing with her grief. It tells us why she‘s closed off. For me, that worked. 3mo
Kitta I actually connected a lot to Feyi‘s grief in this, maybe because I got divorced last year and the grief of losing the life you thought you would have is painful and real to me still. I would have preferred more discussion of this (as others have said) but it‘s meant to be a romance so I let it slide. I‘m particularly interested in Feyi processing her grief through art and what that looks like. 3mo
Megabooks @Ruthiella @batsy excellent additions to @jlhammar ‘s thoughts. The grief didn‘t have the depth I‘d like to see. A close friend was widowed at 38, and her grief has gone through so many stages. I guess this book is more about moving on, but still, it just didn‘t seem fully realized so far. 3mo
Megabooks @batsy I love these quotes! I think there is definitely something to recognizing something you feel so deeply in another person or even a fictional character. 3mo
Megabooks @Well-ReadNeck yes, I think that part feels authentic: allowing parts of your grief to only show through with certain people. 3mo
Megabooks @Hooked_on_books true! I had forgotten that scene. She didn‘t seem to be ready to move on and certainly not with Nasir. I kind of wonder if maybe he‘s not as good as he‘s acting. 🤔🤔 3mo
Megabooks @Kitta yes, good point. Part of grief is mourning the life and relationships you expected to have. 3mo
KarenUK As with everyone else, I‘m looking forward to reading about her show, and seeing the connection between her art and her grief and loss. It‘s her way of channeling her trauma. Its like she‘s tried to compartmentalize her grief from the other part of her life as her way to cope. I just see a young woman, trying really hard to push herself to move forward, to embrace and enjoy life and love and feel joy. And that‘s being expressed by her leaning in.. 3mo
KarenUK … to every feeling about every cute guy in her vicinity! I‘m rooting for her. 3mo
Megabooks @KarenUK that‘s true. In the first half, she seems to be compartmentalizing her grief and protecting herself emotionally. I‘m excited to see her art too! Really glad to have heard from you today, Karen!! 3mo
KarenUK @Megabooks always late to the party! Darn this work nonsense! 😉 3mo
Sparklemn @Cathythoughts I love your comment about how long is a piece of string. Similar to saying “it will take as long as it takes.“ 3mo
Cathythoughts @Sparklemn Yes ! Same kind of saying 👍🏻😁 3mo
MrsV As someone said upthread, grief is a very personal process, what makes “sense” to me might not for someone else. I‘ve been with my husband for 25 years, I don‘t even want to imagine living through that. 3mo
Megabooks @MrsV yes, I was just having a conversation about this with a friend who lost her husband a few years ago. When you‘re young, it‘s an experience not shared by many peers either, so it‘s hard for people to understand, but I really liked how supportive Joy was. 3mo
30 likes56 comments
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Meh, not a massive fan of this. I liked the island setting, and the art world stuff (could have done with exploring that part more actually, that was interesting), but the love story line didn't do much for me. It stressed me out in fact! But I'm looking forward to discussing at #camplitsy

batsy I'm feeling very much the same! Wishing there was more about the art world; not feeling the romance at all. 3mo
Cathythoughts I agree. Strange book , I‘m not feeling the romance at all @batsy 3mo
Soubhiville I stopped at the halfway point until after tomorrow‘s discussion, but I feel the stress about the relationships too! 3mo
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TrishB (I bailed) 3mo
squirrelbrain Lots of mixed (or just poor!) reviews for this…I thought the second half was better than the first though @Soubhiville 3mo
MrsV My feelings to a T! 3mo
BarbaraBB I enjoyed the art parts too. But in the end even they didn‘t deliver. 3mo
Megabooks I would‘ve liked more about the art world too. 3mo
DimeryRene That cover!!!!!!!!! I‘m excited for this. Hope I enjoy it. 3mo
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This cover! 😍
Surprised at how much I was invested in these characters, even if their decisions were so difficult for me to understand, personally. Loved the setting and felt for Feyi in her grief, though this was full of joy also. Excellent audiobook narration from Bahni Turpin, as always. Not a knock out of the park for me, but an entertaining read.

Megabooks Excellent review! Looking forward to our discussion Saturday. 3mo
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Been a bit distracted by the news and living in hope for a bit!
Managed 20%, but struggling.

Bookwomble He'll go, but who can replace him out of that shower of 💩 3mo
squirrelbrain I‘ve just past halfway and it gets a bit better…! 3mo
Bookwormjillk Do you do audiobooks? I made it halfway pretty painlessly today. But then again we‘re having a slow news day here today. 3mo
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sarahbarnes I didn‘t love this one. Will be interested to hear your final thoughts. 3mo
BarbaraBB I woke up to your news 🤞🏽 3mo
TrishB @Bookwomble @BarbaraBB I think he‘s super glued into that role…. 3mo
TrishB @squirrelbrain I‘m just sighing looking at it now…. 3mo
TrishB @Bookwormjillk no I don‘t do audio- do will either have to abandon or just carry on! 3mo
TrishB @sarahbarnes we‘ll see if there are any final thoughts! 3mo
Caroline2 Meh. Just the title of this book put me off! 😆 🤦‍♀️ 3mo
TrishB @Caroline2 funny how titles and covers do that! 3mo
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Although the 2nd half is better than the 1st and I wanted to know the ending, I found the book disappointing. It touches upon subjects worth exploring (grief, gender, sexuality) but sticks to the surface with an unbelievable storyline (mutual lust at first sight, 3 times?!) and the cringing conversations between Feyi and Joy. Oh and there‘s romance. But I didn‘t buy it and it was not as good as our #Summerheat read Seven Days in June.

Ruthiella I didn‘t buy it either. I couldn‘t make that leap. 3mo
BarbaraBB @Ruthiella I‘m glad you couldn‘t either. I‘m surprised the book is written by a renounced author, to me it seemed more of a mediocre debut 🤷🏻‍♀️ 3mo
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batsy Oof, I'm struggling a bit with it too. The insta-lust (I'm so far up to two 😅) & the convos between Feyi & Joy felt very manufactured for the plot. They set the bar high for me with Freshwater but I guess with this book wanted to try writing something more conventional... 3mo
BarbaraBB @batsy I remember you loving Freshwater and ever since I‘ve wanted to read this author! So I was really surprised about this book. 3mo
squirrelbrain I can see that the second half is better than the first, even though I‘ve only just started that half. I‘m sure we‘ll still be a be able to have some great discussions though! 3mo
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain Oh yes, looking forward to hear what everyone thinks on Saturday! 3mo
TrishB I‘m on 10% and my eyeballs are hurting from rolling. 3mo
BarbaraBB @TrishB I know! Two romance novels within a month is too much for us 🤣 3mo
TrishB Definitely 😁 3mo
Megabooks I‘m working on the second half today. I‘ll email you and @squirrelbrain tonight/tomorrow about finalized questions for the first half and thoughts on the second. Great review!! 3mo
MicheleinPhilly None of you are making me want to start this book! You‘re horrible counselors! 😉 @BarbaraBB @Megabooks @squirrelbrain 3mo
batsy Oh yes, Freshwater really left an impression on me. That and this—two different books entirely. Like night and day. 3mo
BarbaraBB @MicheleinPhilly It‘s an easy read though, if you want to escape from reality it can be helpful. If not, well… 3mo
MicheleinPhilly I‘ll give it a whirl. I don‘t know why I‘m bitching - pretty certain I voted for it. 😂 3mo
BarbaraBB @MicheleinPhilly I think I nominated it 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣 3mo
MicheleinPhilly I think I did too. 3mo
vivastory I think I'm going to skip this one, due to all of the mixed reviews. Is the Emma Straub the next one in #camplitsy 3mo
Hooked_on_books I just finished the first half and I‘m having the same issues with the lust situations you are. Plus I‘m struggling with someone who has been mired in grief for 5 years suddenly perfectly fine lusting after the first few men she then looks at? Hmmm. But I have to say, I actually love the conversations with Joy. They‘re so over the top that I find them hilarious. 3mo
BarbaraBB @vivastory Yes It is and that one receives very good reviews fortunately! The discussion of the first half takes place on July 23! 3mo
BarbaraBB @Hooked_on_books I was wondering about that too after five years of grief and abstinence. It‘s too easy. I am glad you at least enjoyed the conversations! 3mo
vivastory Thanks! I will be there 👏🏕️ 3mo
vivastory @MicheleinPhilly I am really looking forward to reading Freshwater, but have no interest in reading this one after seeing the reviews 😬🤣 3mo
Suet624 As usual, you and I had the same feelings about this one.
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This book highlighted how complicated and messy grief, relationships, and love can be. Feyi‘s story showed that sometimes even if you‘ve decided you want to move on, making the decision doesn‘t mean the path will be an easy one. Her road to happiness was anything but smooth and the ending is a work in progress. Not a standard romance if that‘s what you‘re looking for, but it‘s definitely about relationships, and making them work against the odds.

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So I wasn‘t sure to expect this book when I started it. I heard it was a romance but there is also so much grief in this book. This book made me feel uncomfortable but I also just couldn‘t put it down. I feel like this is a deeper romance than I normally read and a lot more complicated. Not going to say much more before the #CampLitsy discussion.

Laughterhp Also realized I can use this for Author Born in Africa - #Booked2022 @Cinfhen @BarbaraTheBibliophage @4thhouseontheleft 3mo
Megabooks I‘m glad this worked for you so well! I‘m still reading, but I‘m excited for your input on Saturday! 3mo
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This is how my cover look like @Cinfhen
I just wish I had the UK independent bookstore edition, then the edges would have been similar to the spine.

RaeLovesToRead I didn't know there was a sprayed edges version 😵😵😵 It's so pretty 😭😭 3mo
AnneCecilie @RaeLovesToRead I know. I‘ve seen the UK independent bookstore copy online and it‘s even more amazing. I guess this is the international copy 3mo
RaeLovesToRead I have the same version of you, but the independent bookstore edition is BEAUTIFUL!!! ...... and sold out 😶 3mo
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RaeLovesToRead *as you 3mo
AnneCecilie @RaeLovesToRead Off course it is. 3mo
Cinfhen Ahhh!! The spine is GORGEOUS and the cover is pretty cool too😎Thanks for sharing 💚 3mo
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Current reading spot on the balcony with my #littenkitten. She‘s shaved because she had to have an ultrasound to see if the cancer has spread. 😿 luckily it hasn‘t and I have a little more time with her. #catsoflitsy

Ruthiella 😻😻😻 3mo
LiteraryinLawrence Really glad to hear that! My cat is dealing with cancer too so I feel you. 3mo
Soubhiville Aw, I‘m sorry you‘re dealing with that. But glad you got some good news for now under the circumstances. 3mo
MicheleinPhilly Poor baby. ☹️ Glad to hear it hasn‘t spread though! 3mo
Megabooks Oh no! I‘m so sorry. I hope it hasn‘t spread. 💜 3mo
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Just finished the tagged book, it works for a bunch of the prompts but I‘m going with M/F love for this one.

#LGBTQBookBingo @Kenyazero #lgbt

Kenyazero Super close to some bingos! 3mo
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I possibly drank to much while reading this because I cried at the descriptions of grief and losing someone. The tenderness between the characters moved me in a way I haven‘t been in a while. Sure the premise is a little far fetched but who cares when reading romance?


Soubhiville I‘ve teared up at a few points during those parts too. It‘s partially what you‘re going through too probably. 💕 hugs. 3mo
Megabooks I‘m finding the second half more believable and intriguing than the first. Glad you enjoyed it! Im looking forward to the discussion! 3mo
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You are not entitled to fuck me just because you were a decent human being. 👏 YAS GIRL.

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"The only problem is, she's falling for the one man she absolutely can't have."

Story of my life, Book! Story of my life. ??

Looking forward to reading this one for #camplitsy

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Igor apparently thinks now is not a good time for reading. So, snuggle naps it is. ❤️🐱

MicheleinPhilly The very definition of stank face! 3mo
Hooked_on_books Sometimes you just have to do what the critters demand! 3mo
Soubhiville @Hooked_on_books right? I needed that nap so I‘m glad he interrupted me. 😊 3mo
Megabooks He looks determined to stop you! 3mo
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#WeeklyForecast 27/22

I started the tagged book for #CampLitsy and will read the first 11 chapters this week. After I‘ll read our last 🥲 #NYRBbookclub read and if there‘s time I‘ll start the O‘Farrell. If not, I‘ll take it with me on vacantion next week ☀️

TrishB Good plans 👍🏻 3mo
Megabooks I love that O‘Farrell edition!! 3mo
squirrelbrain Have a good week Barbara! 3mo
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BarbaraBB Thank you dear Helen, you too! 3mo
Cinfhen Are you guys no longer doing #NYRB bookclub??? 3mo
Cinfhen So excited for your upcoming trip!!! It sounds AMAZING 🤩 3mo
BarbaraBB It‘ll stop after 3 years. Scott has led the group all this time and he doesn‘t want to continue. Completely understandable! @Cinfhen (edited) 3mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks I always prefer an image or illustration! 3mo
Suet624 Oh! I didn't hear that NYRB bookclub was ending. It had a long and fruitful run. 2mo
BarbaraBB @Suet624 It led me to some unforgettable books. It‘s been one of Litsy‘s highlights for me! 2mo
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Starting this one for the next #camplitsy read!

Megabooks I started today too! 3mo
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I love their writing, and have enjoyed their other books. I didn‘t hate the book, and I was ok with the couple individually just not together. Can‘t wait for the #camplitsy discussion.

BarbaraBB Already looking forward to it while I haven‘t even started the book! 3mo
Megabooks I‘m looking forward to to it as well! 3mo
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Prepping for #camplitsy

Also covid finally caught up with my household this last week, so feeling a bit under the weather. Not got it too badly, cough and tiredness mostly. So my weekend plans are reading and watching Stranger Things.

So far I'm finding this book ok, but not loving it. I do want to live in that island house though! ☀️👙🌴

squirrelbrain Ugh, sorry you‘re feeling rough - hope you feel better soon. I‘ve started the book and I agree with you - it‘s OK but not great. I‘ve just got to the point where they‘ve landed on the island… 3mo
TrishB Hope you‘re on the mend soon. (edited) 3mo
Oryx @squirrelbrain @TrishB thanks both! At least I have a reason to stay home and read, nap and eat junk 🙂 3mo
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TrishB I think we should always be looking for a reason to do that 😁 3mo
rockpools Oh no! Feel better soon, Emma. 💐 3mo
Ruthiella Hope you feel better soon! ❤️ 3mo
Dragon Take care 💐 enjoy Stranger Things 3mo
Megabooks So sorry you‘re dealing with Covid! The exhaustion is real for sure. 💜💜 3mo
Cathythoughts I hope you feel better. This latest strain is very contagious. Yes, the island and house ! I‘d like to see them. 👍🏻♥️ 3mo
DivineDiana Hope you are feeling better! ❤️ 3mo
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Just a reminder: no #CampLitsy discussion this week. We‘ll pick up next Saturday (July 9) with the first 11 chapters of You Made a Fool of Death…!

Molly and I are headed to a doggy play date/barbecue today to kick off the holiday weekend. I hope everyone else is doing something fun today too!

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Cinfhen Enjoy your day!!!! 3mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen thanks friend! 3mo
Soubhiville Sounds like a fun day! I like your matching of book to sleeve 😊. 3mo
squirrelbrain Ooh, hope you and Molly both have fun! 3mo
KarenUK Have fun! Doggy play dates are the best! I‘m dog sitting this weekend so have my own play date! 💕 3mo
BarbaraBB Have fun. I‘d love a BBQ party! And I am about to start the book! 😘 3mo
Leniverse Oh! I thought we started this Saturday. No rush then, for a change. 😅 3mo
Cathythoughts Have a lovely day Meg 👍🏻😁 chat soon about the book 📕 ⛺️ (edited) 3mo
MicheleinPhilly Have a great time! Hope it isn‘t terribly hot where you are. We‘re partying INDOORS. 🥵 3mo
Suet624 Thanks for the reminder!! 3mo
Megabooks @Soubhiville thanks! I thought this was more a queer romance so I thought the sleeve would be even more appropriate, but it‘s very straight 62 pages in. 🤔 3mo
Megabooks @squirrelbrain we had a great time! Maisy is apparently worn out, but Molly has still been up. Nothing tires that girl! 3mo
Megabooks @KarenUK so wonderful that you‘re dog sitting! Have a great holiday weekend! 3mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB we had a great time! I started the book this morning and am about to pick it up again. Not particularly enjoying it…😬 3mo
Megabooks @Leniverse yes! You have another week! 👍🏻👍🏻 3mo
Megabooks @Cathythoughts thanks! Looking forward to it! 💜🏕 3mo
Megabooks @MicheleinPhilly we were in and out. It was overcast and breezy, plus her yard has shade, so not terrible. We‘re having scattered t-storms this afternoon, so we all went home. But it was a good lunch! Also, I hope you and Pickles enjoy the weekend! (edited) 3mo
Megabooks @Suet624 looking forward to next week! 3mo
squirrelbrain Go Molly! 😁🐶 3mo
Soubhiville I‘m surprised how straight it is too. I was looking forward to something more queer. Ah well, it seems to be a pretty fast read anyway. 3mo
78 likes23 comments
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I‘m glad this book introduced me to the song “Hunger” by Florence and the Machine but otherwise I wasn‘t that impressed. The descriptive writing was fine but the profanity laden dialogue was boring and I never cared about the characters or found them or their fates interesting. Not my kind of book. #CampLitsy

Vansa I find this writer extremely overrated 3mo
squirrelbrain 😬 I‘m about a third of the way through… it‘s fine but not ground-breaking or amazing! 3mo
BarbaraBB I am about to start it. 🤨 3mo
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Ruthiella @Vansa This is the only book of theirs I‘ve read so far. I‘ll maybe try another some day… 3mo
Ruthiella @squirrelbrain I agree. Nothing ground-breaking or amazing. Still, I‘m glad to have given it a go! 3mo
Ruthiella @BarbaraBB I‘ll be interested to hear your take on it! 3mo
sherri I haven't read the book, but I am a huge fan of Florence's music. Hunger is a great song. 3mo
Ruthiella @sherri I really like the song too. I don‘t know a lot of Florence‘s music but I do love Cosmic Love from her. 3mo
Megabooks I definitely swear, but this book…gees, a lot of swearing!! 3mo
Ruthiella @Megabooks OMG yes! I swear for emphasis at times(and when I am angry). But not in normal conversation. 3mo
Cathythoughts I gave this a ‘so-so‘ too. I‘ll have to listen to Hunger 👍🏻♥️ 3mo
Ruthiella @Cathythoughts It‘s a great song! 😃 Discussion about this book will be interesting! 3mo
BkClubCare Me, too 3mo
Ruthiella @BkClubCare Different strokes, eh? 3mo
PaperbackPirate I love Florence + the Machine! I saw them in concert about 10 years ago - one of the best concerts I‘ve ever been to. (edited) 3mo
Ruthiella @PaperbackPirate They must be awesome live! (edited) 3mo
51 likes16 comments
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I absolutely fell in love with the characters in this book. There were quite a few instances where I was yelling at the main character because she makes some pretty bad choices but ultimately I just wanted things to work out for her. 4.5⭐️

BarbaraBB Are you joining us for #CampLitsy? We‘ll be reading and discussing this book the first half of July! 3mo
8 likes1 comment