Book Review: How To Make Friends With The Dark by Kathleen Glasgow

dark

Here is what happens when your mother dies.

Release Date: April 9, 2019

Pre-Order on Amazon

Price: $12.91 (hardcover)

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Plot Summary:

It’s the brightest day of summer and it’s dark outside. It’s dark in your house, dark in your room, and dark in your heart. You feel like the darkness is going to split you apart.

That’s how it feels for Tiger. It’s always been Tiger and her mother against the world. Then, on a day like any other, Tiger’s mother dies. And now it’s Tiger, alone.

Here is how you learn to make friends with the dark.

Grade: A

Review:

Having read Glasgow’s heart-wrecking debut, Girl In Pieces, I had an inkling that perhaps her second novel would be another emotional rollercoaster. What I didn’t know is just how much of a wild, heart-breaking ride this would be. Last year, I finally got around to reading White Oleander (about a girl who goes into foster care once her mom is sent to prison for murder), so when Tiger’s mom dies, and she goes to foster care all I can think is, “OH NO BAD THINGS ARE GOING TO HAPPEN NOW!” Because some crazy shit went down in White Oleander that made me grateful that I never had to be a foster child, but at the same time made me feel extremely sorry for those poor kids who do end up becoming wardens of the state. And although I had only known Tiger for a couple of pages, I instantly liked her and was fearful of her future without her mother.

The prose in this book is amazingly STUNNING, even when events happen that leave you feeling like you’re repeatedly getting sucker punched with the most horrible reality. The author has a way of writing that makes grief and despair appear simultaneously poetic and yet very harsh. This book doesn’t lull you with a false sense of security, instead, it pulls the rug out from under your feet making you fall painfully hard. This book isn’t for those who are looking for a casual YA because other than the protagonist being a teen, a lot of the tough reality of life wasn’t glossed over nor sugar-coated. Glasgow wants you to see how difficult it can be to lose the only person you have in life, even if that reality makes you feel uncomfortable at times.

This book will make you feel in ways you didn’t think you were capable of feeling. It will also absolutely shatter your heart to pieces. Not to mention that ugly crying will be in your near future once you pick up this novel. You’ve been warned. But it’s well worth it.

*Thank you so much to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for the digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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Review: The National – Sleep Well Beast

the national

Sleep Well Beast is The National’s seventh studio album, and much like their previous albums they’re here to deliver us sadness by way of dreamy, layered music and moody lyrics. Many people either find this band brilliant, or utterly boring. And the easiest way for you to find out where you fall on the spectrum is to ask yourself this, “Do you like The Smiths?” Because if you do, then you’ll love the melancholy found in The National’s songs, but if you don’t, then you may feel like the suicidal-charged baritone of leadsinger Matt Berninger to be too much to deal with.

Usually all of The National’s albums are compared to Alligator because it was considered brilliant, and so subsequent albums have always had to try to outdo that one.

Like most successful bands, The National have found their winning formula, and it’s the following: Berninger’s tragic baritone voice half-singing half-murmuring anxiety-ridden lyrics over soft guitar chords, piano, rhythmic drumming, with a dash of strings and horns thrown in the mixture.

Now, Sleep Well Beast sorta sticks to this same formula as the previous albums on pretty much the majority of the tracks. Although some tracks have been amped up a little and feature a faster tempo with some subtle shouting ala Mr. November or Available, especially on the track Turtleneck where Berninger candidly let’s up know that he keeps the weed next to his bed.

Some of the strongest tracks from the album are Carin At The Liquor Store, The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness, Walk It Back, and Day I Die. To say this is record is dark and bleak is an understatement. It’s almost like watching the dissolving of a relationship, but trying not to be outwardly destructive about it, although you’re feeling like vomiting your heart as a way to get rid of your weakest organ.

This album is best for those who don’t mind drowning in sorrow and befalling some serious dose of emotion sickness. If you’re looking for something to cheer you up, look elsewhere. You’ll only find sadness in its purest, most beautiful, and bleakest form here.

Life is sad, and The National are here to remind us of that. But there’s a strange beauty in the sadness. We almost don’t mind feeling so depressed.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

By: Azzurra Nox