“No one can be independent of other people completely, so why not give up the attempt, she thought, go running in the other direction, depend on people for everything, allow them to depend on you, why not.” – 2/5 stars!
Attention! This book contains: abusive boyfriends, intelligence, shame, car rides, shared beds, college classes, scholarships and classical books.
Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years.
This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person’s life – a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us – blazingly – about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege. Alternating menace with overwhelming tenderness, Sally Rooney’s second novel breathes fiction with new life.
I can’t believe I’m finally done with this book. I thought about DNFing it several times, but I ended up finishing it since it wasn’t that big of a book.
Let’s start with the obvious: I strongly disliked the romance. I understand the entire point of this book is that this is not a conventional nor a cliché romance story, but I just couldn’t understand it.
When the book first starts, you get to follow the main characters when they were in high school and you witness how they fell in love. As usual, with young love, it’s normal to make mistakes and do stupid things – Connell really thought it was a good idea to hide this girlfriend because he was worried about what his friends would think. Of course this is terrible, but since they were young I tried to not think too much about it, because they would grow out of this weird phase eventually. And here is the problem I have with this book: these people never grow up. They do have a strong connection between them, but they are incredibly childish and immature with their relationship. The characters were extremely annoying, privileged and futile with their first world problems. Not only that but the plot is non-existent. The entire book is divided in chapters that start and end the same way: they meet after x months, they talk (and maybe sleep together), and by the end of the chapter they part ways. And the cycle repeats until the end of the book.
And that ending… wow, that really was the cherry on top. Very disappointing.
A few months ago I added Conversations With Friends to my TBR list, but I have no desire to pick it up anymore. In conclusion: I genuinely don’t understand the hype around this book, but I’m glad some people liked it I guess.