A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

A book that made a huge impact when it came out and continues to make a huge impact upon reading.

A while back, I saw a ton of people talking of A Little Life, it was getting all the buzz. Now, the way people spoke about this, made me want to pick it up instantly, which never happens. Something about it just resonated with me, and I decided to pick it up. And I loved it.

Generally, I am a huge fan of character driven stories. I don’t really care about the plot all that much as long as the character could keep me engaged. Also, I am a huge fan of following a group of friends. This story has all of that. We follow Jude, Willem, JB and Malcolm as they finish college and embark into life in NYC. This story mainly focuses on Jude. We know that something awful happened to him and we don’t know what it was, but we see the horrendous consequences it has on him and his whole being.

You probably heard that this is an extremely harrowing story. It has trigger warnings for sexual abuse and self harm. It’s not an easy read. Some people even seem to think of it as “tragedy porn” because it has such deeply disturbing topics, that just keep piling on.

Now, I did not feel this way. I personally think this is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. It’s one of the few books that sits with me, even now, even a year after I read it. I keep thinking about it and it was the same while I was reading it. Whenever I put it down, I just kept replaying it in my head. It provokes such strong feelings and it pushes you to think.

Her writing style is very clean and has a superb flow to it. This is a hefty book, around 720 pages, yet it never felt like that. The story never dragged on, it never slowed, it just kept going in its unanimous rhythm.

The characters were extraordinary. Yanagihara managed to transfer all of their emotions, thoughts, their struggles, wants, needs, everything to their core to the reader. I was rooting for them all the way.

Since Jude is the central figure, his story unwinds from the beginning to the end. And it’s a painful unwinding, one that will leave you with a huge lump in your throat. However, it is remarkable. I have never felt so much at the same time while reading. It is rare that a story grips me so tight and completely encapsulates me in it.

I did have an issue with the thing that happened just before the ending, but for some reason that didn’t lessen my love for this book.

I think that this is worth a read for everyone, because even if you do not end up loving it, it will definitely make you think and feel, and I personally don’t regret any book that does.

If you have read this one, please let me know how you felt about it!


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