AmericanahAmericanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
My rating: 4/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

this is basically what was going through my head for most of the book: “AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!”

and then, more quietly in the background, under the shrieking:

“why haven’t i read this before now?”

because i was an early-adopter of adichie – i read Purple Hibiscus back when it was her only novel, and i pounced on Half of a Yellow Sun as soon as it was published and it immediately rose to the very top of my heart-pile of ‘favorite books ever.’

and then this came out and i just… dallied. i bought it the week it came out, but it’s just been hanging out on my shelves for years, being another unread hardcover i’d see and berate myself with, “good thing you paid hardcover price for that, asshole!”

but then one book, one new york came around and suddenly there was a force other than myself pushing me towards it, which was just what i needed to have my AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!! moment.

because it’s phenomenal. and i started reading it one night, intending to just make some headway into it before pausing “pleasure-reading time” and transitioning into “getting some work done time.”

which did not happen that night, because i just sank into it. figuratively. but i did quite literally sink into my reading bunker, all pillows and stuffed pals and fleece blanket and dozing cat, reading so compulsively that i couldn’t even be bothered to reach over and turn on my reading lamp, instead just squinting myself into mole eyes, grandmotherly advice be damned!

this ‘review’ is going to be pure reader-response because i can’t even approach something this spectacular with my messy and gushy words, like vomit all over a unicorn.

she’s just so fucking talented – the whole ball of wax – characters, descriptions, story, observations; she’s so purely expressive and astute and so damn smart. the book’s gaze is broad: race, gender, class, relationships, beauty culture, the dislocation of the immigrant, all the warts america overlooks while it’s busy patting itself on the back – it’s tremendously entertaining and funny and true, and those blog posts are gold, my friends…

it just barely missed the five-star cat mark for me – i thought it poofed out a little at the end, making it slightly less perfect than her previous two novels, but it’s by no means flawed – this is a book that no one should have on their shelves, unread, for as long as i did.

be better than me at all things!


BOOM! new york is MINE!

review to come

one book, one new york!…

doing my civic duty and reading this (finally). new yorkers who do not have this read by june will be deported to connecticut.

read my reviews on goodreads

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