Life Reading

Book Review: All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg

I have always been an avid reader, however I tend to get distracted far too easily and forget about the whole reading thing.

I’m a busy lady, y’know?

It wasn’t always this way, of course. Once there was a time where I would always be enraptured by the fantastical worlds that surrounded me. I am not sure how the habit was broken, but it was, and that’s all I can really say about that.

Over the past few years I have found myself more focused on the reading on non-fiction in the never-ending quest for improved knowledge.

Yet as part of my efforts to life a happier life and not let my depression get me down, as well as investing in my own self care, I have promised myself to get my nose back into novels as a way to simply stop (I have troubles stopping…).

So, going forward I’ll now be posting a book review every month!

All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg

Ever read a book that you absolutely love, but at the same time causes you a series of conflicting emotions?

This is that book.

It is an incredibly frustrating, though beautifully written story and if you’re a creative person you will see some of yourself in Andrea, the narrator.

However, there will come a point whilst reading where the beautiful prose begins being tainted by Andrea’s life, and you no longer feel sympathy nor empathy towards this woman – merely frustration.

It is a beautifully complex story about a creative who simply refused to grow up, who rather than battling her demons, invited them over for a glass or three of wine.

It is a fascinating story full of interesting background characters being taken for granted against the back drop of New York by a woman who can’t look at life beyond the bottom of a wine bottle.

Andrea talks about her life in bite-size morsels that leave you wanting more, and turning page after page, lapping up her striking prose. You want to know more, you want to understand her depression, her anxiety, her wild abandon, and why she is just. so. self. absorbed.

Yet… you never do. There are no explanations, nor excuses, and the character seems to almost indulge in her difficultness, her narcissism and selfishness. There is no arc of redemption, there are no lessons learnt – just her excuses and an abrupt ending that leaves you thinking “too little, far too late.” Which I guess, is the point of the narrative…

I will definitely be re-reading this one. It is an interesting insight into the creative mind and the demons and desires all creatives possess, however unfortunate that the narrator is so unlikable, especially by any creative person who has been there, done that, and then grown up.


What are you reading at the moment?