Good morning, bookpups🐾 Today’s review is one of the most hyped books of 2020 so far, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. I read it as part of a Buddy Read on bookstagram and really enjoyed this insightful glimpse into the past. While this 4-star read didn’t quite live up to all the hype, it’s definitely a book you should have on your TBR.
QOTD: Do you enjoy buddy reads?
The Vanishing Half was the first real Buddy Read I’ve ever done. Of course, it was a bookstagram book club thing – #novelideasbookclub and wow! I loved it! So much fun to read a book with a handful of other people and then just chat and chat and chat (with no fear of dropping spoilers).
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Why did I pick this up? Because twins, duh 😂 I know many people are reading it for reasons closely tied to the social condition of the world but my reason was shallow. I love books about twins. I devour them. So The Vanishing Half was an obvious choice for me.
That said, each time I opened this book, I felt sad. First I was confused and almost angry at Stella. Where does she get off abandoning her twin? And, as the reader, we witness firsthand what Desiree and her mom go through, in losing Stella (not that Desiree is so innocent, either). I mean WT-bleep! They both abandoned their mother! Just vanished into thin air.
Okay, so let’s shelve that and move on.
Then the book switches over to Jade, Desiree’s daughter. I liked her but she was SOOOOO closed off to the world. I realize her life wasn’t perfect but this entire family just seems to want to be rid of each other. Jade was no exception to this rule. It seemed that, through the entire book, she struggles with finding any measure of contentment. The best way I would describe her is uncomfortable in her own skin.
And finally, we meet Stella.
What do you have to say for yourself, girl?
Stella’s biggest desire in this book is to be white. And to be more than the poor girl she was. But she abandons them. And her entire life, her entire relationship with her husband even, is built on a lie. Imagine the mental energy and daily stresses of trying to keep up the lie … trying to keep it straight. While I sort-of felt for her (I mean, it couldn’t have been easy), I kept coming back to what she did to her family … and the fact that she’s not even a little bit repentant! Neither is Desiree, for that matter!
The end of this book wrapped things up a bit, but it also felt like everything just faded away. I suppose it gives the book a more real-life feel, but I would have liked a little more resolution. While I enjoyed it (devouring this book in 2 days), I’m not sure it’s one that I could re-read.
The Vanishing Half is a very addictive read. Once I picked it up, it was easy to get lost in the hours and find myself halfway through the book before I put it down again. Definitely worth a 1-time read.
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Crossing off the letter V for our #2020AtoZReadingChallenge with The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.