I’m just a girl with a shark’s heart.
I don’t necessarily know what that means (can anyone really trust urbandictionary nowadays?) or if I actually understood what Anais was talking about half the time but if there’s one thing I’m certain, my cuss vocabulary expanded a few pages more thanks to this book. And ming-fucking-mong is a new favorite.
Sometimes, you can just tell from the cover/title combo. Hard as we may try to not judge books by their covers, we do. And this book looks pretty intimidating. Any of The Panopticon’s edition appears to promise a lobotomy in the form of distressing accounts, evocative, visceral prose and hours of guessing and second guessing whether you’re understanding things right and what it says about you.
And since I’m staring so intensely at my screen right now it would’ve called the authorities if it could, I think this delivered on those promises, maybe more. It varies for every reader of course, but Fagan managed to satisfy some latent fragments in my personality. Unfortunately it also left gaping holes of dissatisfaction from my end. Because this was not an easy adventure, structurally and thematically, to get into and the emotional payoff tepid, murky and this side of confusing. So overall...
“For fans of One Day, What Alice Forgot and Sliding Doors”. Well I wasn’t exactly wowed by One Day but while I’m also not a fan of anything Gwyneth Paltrow, I was quite familiar and intrigued with the premise of Sliding Doors. I think I stopped reading the blurb after that and just requested this automatically.
So one can imagine my surprise with how Then and Alwaysseemed to be a sleepy Adult Contemporary Romance one chapter playing with sci-fi, paranormal possibilities the next while wallowing too long with the usual suspects of cliched tropes and triggers. It was a very conflicting reading experience for me until the final chapter which made sense in one level, albeit a little manipulative in another.
But then I was hardly emotionally invested with these characters so I guess… no harm done?