Read: January 2023
This was kind of interesting but reads like two different novels stitched together, which has left me feeling confused.
I did not have any clue what this novel was really about before I read it, and if I did I probably would not have picked it up because it’s just not the subject for me.
I was interested in the first half as a look at the dysfunctional life of someone who is far too Online. I thought the way it is structured is bizarre little fragments many was effectively reminiscent of social media. It did make it addictive to read, and have me that surreal and detached feeling I get if I ever spend too long doom scrolling.
But then the second half of the novel switches focus from the empty existence of “the portal” to the immediate emotionally wretching events that affect the protagonist’s sister and her family.. while keeping the same fragmented structure.
From reading the acknowledgements I understand that this is autobiographical.
I get that the intention was likely to show the contrast of the former empty existence and the transient, ultimately meaningless concerns, of online “life” with the love, loss and real deeply human experiences she has with her family. However, I just didn’t feel the two halves worked together.
I was so distracted in the second half by the first half that I could never be invested emotionally in something that is incredibly tragic.
In the end it’s just kind of.. fine. I don’t think it’s one I’ll remember reading.