It’s only halfway through March, and yet I think I’ve found my favourite book of 2017.
Not gonna lie, this book is not for everyone. It really isn’t. It’s slow-moving and detail-oriented and not much actually…happens. But I absolutely loved it to pieces and you might as well.
In this book, each and every single word is so perfectly-placed that it reads like poetry.
The detail is exquisite. It’s little things that make it seem real, like it’s a movie. Like a small, indie film that’s full of pops of colour and incredible set design. It’s something that’s a bit part in Everything Leads to You, and Nina LaCour’s writing style absolutely blows me away.
I wrote a blog post recently about reading too quickly. With this book, it’s impossible. You have to read every word. Because the world Nina LaCour has created is melancholy and wintry and utterly beautiful.
And let’s talk about the wintry vibes for a sec.
Winter for me is not like winter in the Northern Hemisphere – it doesn’t snow where I live. I have seen snow once in my life. If it’s a warm winter you can go the whole three months wearing only a jacket. The picture above is of the endpapers of the book – and that’s kind of what this book feels like.
This book IS winter. It exudes it. The main character Marin (maRIN) is alone on campus – after her grandfather’s death, she has nowhere to go for the holidays, and so she’s there with only the occasional sight of the groundskeeper. Well, the groundskeeper and Mabel.
I loved the dynamic between Marin and Mabel.
It’s awkward between them to start off with. And you feel every second of it. It really is like a movie. You get to see every little moment of their time together. Nothing is left out. It’s that kind of detail and realness that makes it so incredible.
Interspersed with that narrative are sections from the time before Marin’s grandfather died. Normally I’m not a fan of past/present narratives, but this worked SO well. There’s also somewhat of an untangling going on – figuring out some of the mysteries of their relationship, and the secrets that were kept. So that was a really interesting aspect of it.
I also loved how important family was in this book.
All throughout it, Mabel is saying to Marin how she can be part of their family (they’re Mexican-American, if you’re wondering about diversity in this one). She’s more than welcome. Ana and Javier – Mabel’s parents – are so welcoming and kind, and I absolutely adored it.
There’s also her grandfather, as I mentioned before. Their relationship was complicated, and you find out a lot about it throughout the book, but I loved how complex it was. Because what’s more complex than family, really?
This is definitely not a light, happy, feel-good book.
There’s grief and heartbreak and loneliness. But it also talks about not seeking out grief, which I think was a really important sentiment. Anyway, the writing was incredibly evocative and beautiful, and I loved every moment of my rainy train ride reading this book.
It’s not for everyone. But who knows? Maybe it will also become your favourite book of 2017.
You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…
Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.
Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.
So tell me – what’s been your favourite book of 2017 so far? I need recommendations!