20 by Vastal Surti

20 by vastal surti

goodreads-synopsis

‘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.

commentary

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.

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“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: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Harry Potter And The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Author: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

Genre: Fantasy

Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis: Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

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Harry Potter And The Cursed Child takes places nineteen years after Deathly Hallows, and the main character is Albus Severus Potter. Going into this book, I knew that the book was not going to focus on some my beloved characters such as Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, nor the Weasley clan.  I wanted at least some cameos like Teddy Lupin or Hagrid, but that’s not the case with this book. Keep in mind that this book is written in a play format, and it only focuses on Albus and Harry Potter. 

This book is somewhat controversial, some fans accept Harry Potter and The Cursed Child as canon while others do not. I won’t reveal the reason why it’s controversial because it will literally spoil the book. The book is a lot of fun, don’t get me wrong, but it did not satisfy my Harry Potter needs. This book felt like fan fiction even though J.K. Rowling collaborated on this. 

What I didn’t love about the book was the characterizations of some of the characters. Harry Potter felt like a completely different person. He was a terrible father in this book, but only to one of his children. Some of his actions were very, very questionable. I would have loved the book if Harry had more interactions with James and Lily. This book mainly focuses on Harry and Albus’ deteriorating relationship, and there is a lot of miscommunication between the two. I loved Ron and Hermione in this book. I was so happy that they had several scenes together. Anyways, the plot wasn’t original as I had hoped it would be, but it was still fun and a bit ridiculous at the same time.When it came to the villain, I immediately knew who it was. It was obvious!!!!! 

My favorite character had to be Scorpius  Malfoy. He was absolutely precious in every way. He stole my heart. Scorpius  was more of a follower than a leader, he was a bookworm, and one of the kindest characters from the new generation. Draco is very protective when it comes to Scorpius. Scorpius deals with a lot of prejudice against him. I felt his storyline was amazing! It was very saddening knowing what the rumors against him were.  

As for his relationship with Albus, it had so much buildup. They are best friends, and they would do anything for each other. I would have preferred if Albus and Scorpius were a couple. Some of the scenes they had together made it seem that they had romantic feelings for each other. Would have loved if this book was LGBT. As for Rose Granger-Weasley, she was the best of both worlds. She was athletic, and studious. A perfect balance of Ron and Hermione. Sadly, she has only a couple scenes in the book.

As for Albus, he was very angsty towards his father. He is a Slytherin, and feels he is cursed because Harry Potter is his father. He feels that he can’t be his own person because he is Harry Potter’s son. He is not talented in magic, not athletic. He is the black sheep of his family. The outcast. His other siblings are both in Gryffindor. I didn’t like how he isolated himself from everyone else. I like how much he grows throughout his journey.

Do I find this book canon? It was a lot a fun, and though some of what I read contradicted the Harry Potter books, I don’t find this to be canon. It is what it is, a play that was cowritten with J.K. Rowling and others.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5)