‘It’s really hitting me where I live. Prose poetry about what it feels like to be young and have the whole world caught inside your throat.’ – Lena Dunham
The story of a 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 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.
I received 20 on Netgalley for an honest review, all opinions are my own.
Reading 20 by Vastal Surti was an experience. 20 is the type of book that you have to read the whole way through. The writing is beautiful and poetic. It mesmerized me. But is 20 a book that I will remember reading as time passes by? It’s hard to say for now. I can recommend this book on a rainy day with a nice cup of coffee.
“Sometimes I was filled with such loneliness. My teenage years were so difficult. I try to please everyone, and I distance myself. Nothing seems real sometimes. I search for meaning in mundane events. I seek identity in empty relationships. All my life I have tried to find a place in this world…”
When reading 20, I was amazed that the protagonists remained unnamed. It felt that I was glimpsing into the life of a young adult who was suffering through her moments of depression. The books deals with themes of isolation and depression, and feeling alienated in the world. If I can sum it up in a phrase it would be this: the struggles of being a young adult, not really feeling complete as an adult.
“She carried a thousand lights inside her heart, and a thousand lights carried her.
The book did get repetitive for me, but I was able to connect with the characters. The book is relatable, no doubt. It’s an experience. But, I do feel it can be a bit forgettable as well. The first half of the book was stronger than the second part of the book. The second half felt a bit rushed.
I keep drinking coffee again and again. I don’t even like it that much anymore, but I can’t stop. It’s like becoming obsessed with someone you don’t even like. It gives you nothing but seems like everything.
As for the romance, it did feel one sided. The girl protagonist was more into her partner, and it felt that her love interest was not reciprocating his feelings back to her. The protagonists found each other by chance. Both characters were experiencing moments of not really feeling their lives until they found each other.
Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️