Historical Fiction Literary Fiction Megan's Reviews

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett | Book Review #9

August 5, 2020
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett | Book Review

Good morning, bookpups๐Ÿพ 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).



The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett | Book Review

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Why did I pick this up? Because twins, duh ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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?



The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett | Book Review

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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The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett | Book Review

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If youโ€™ve read The Vanishing Half and would like to chat about it, DM us on Bookstagram or leave a comment below! Want more of our reviews? Check them out in our Review Archives!




Crossing off the letter V for our #2020AtoZReadingChallenge with The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.

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7 Comments

  • Reply DJ Sakata August 30, 2020 at 11:24 am

    I have that same interest, there are no twins in my family but the subject has always intrigued me since childhood

  • Reply Bianca August 30, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Iโ€™ve heard nothing but good things about this book.

  • Reply Kate @ Bitch Bookshelf August 30, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    Iโ€™ll have to check this one out. There are so many good BOTM books.

  • Reply Shelleen Toland August 31, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    It sounds different.

  • Reply Robin Loves Reading September 1, 2020 at 5:52 pm

    Sounds like a good read.

    • Reply Bookstacks & Golden Moms September 3, 2020 at 11:00 am

      It was ๐Ÿ™‚ A bit on the sad side … I guess I was hoping for more resolution and maybe even the twins reconnecting. But it’s definitely a book I would recommend ๐Ÿ™‚

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