May 19, 2017


Vatsal Surti
Image result for 20 vatsal surti

*This review is based on an advanced reading copy. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a chance to read the book in exchange for an honest review*
I have no idea what I just read, to be honest.

Goodreads blurb:
"The story of a troubled young model and an introspective writer, 20 is a novel about loneliness, love, hopes and dreams.

One night as she is driving back home from a show, she almost runs over someone. She holds her breath, and through the fog they see each other for the first time. Love begins to form in the space between them, in precognitions and thoughts, lights and intimacies. Seasons change. They come to know more things about themselves and each other. Life wraps them in its embrace like a haze, in a vacant space bigger than their eyes can see.

Fans of Haruki Murakami will enjoy this atmospheric and deeply felt debut from Vatsal Surti, who was described by an Amazon HALL OF FAME reviewer as "a young author to observe."
What this should actually say is that this is a book about a mentally ill woman and her relationship written in full-prose-poetry-nonsense. Almost nothing happens in this book. There's basically no plot. The entire story could have been cut down to 20 pages if you just cut out 160 pages of filler words meant to evoke emotion that were really unnecessary and pretentious.

Let me clarify: I'm all about prose. Give me a book that's well written with a half-assed plot, and I'm okay with it. Give me a book that's not-so-well-written with an amazing plot, I'm not okay. This happens to be a lose-lose, as in writing that's trying way to hard to sound beautiful and deep mixed with a non-existent arc.
For example (one of the countless conversations that make no sense between the lovers):
"Stars are falling," she said. "In desperation we walk on the edge of sea. Distraction. Distraction. In heart there is peace. And everything is beautiful."
Every. Single. Person. talks like that in this book. Drove me nuts. I had no idea what was happening half of the time because I was trying to decipher meaningless conversations. The concept was fine, a lonely girl falls in love and loses her partner but this did nothing for me. I didn't feel anything.
This was not for me.

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