The Memory of Light is such an excellent book. It’s not excitingly adrenaline-pumping, although there are some intense moments. On the contrary, it’s an exceedingly introspective book dealing with the realities of mental illness. It portrays the complexities of mental health and the difficulties of diagnosing and treating those who are mentally ill.
Reading Beautiful Broken Things struck me on many levels. There were a lot of things I related to her having gone through these myself. I’ve been in Caddy’s shoes. I’ve been in Rosie’s shoes. I’ve had a number of Suzanne’s in my life. I’ve learnt that groups of threes aren’t always the most stable of friend groups. Beautiful Broken Things reminded me of toxic relationships I’ve had, the naïve wishes to be there as a friend unravelled and being pushed aside as I wasn’t included in the plans of two when we should have been three.
Clean is a book that thoroughly surprised me. Firstly, I thought this book would be about mental illness. Actually it’s about addiction. I should’ve realized that before I started reading but as usual, I hardly glanced at the synopsis. Secondly, I was impressed with how the characters were portrayed in terms of depth, development and voice. Best of all, I was amazed by the writing style. It was on the experimental side, which I hadn’t expected.
One of the books I most looked forward to in 2014 was Belzhar. When I first saw the US cover, I was taken in and when I read the short description, I was sold. I wanted to read the book. It didn’t matter to me that I had never read a word of Sylvia Plath because I had every intention to. (For the record, I read The Bell Jar before Belzhar to preempt spoilers. Hah.) The hook for me was the exploration of mental stability.