I feel so full; I feel like I've just eaten a McDouble without the grease and regret I usually feel after.
Katja Millay's characters are so true and gritty and gorgeous, and I cannot say enough about her writing. I love reading about characters who don't pretend to be perfect, and I love reading about characters who find each other in real time.
Nastya does not like herself, and I think the entire story is about learning how to accept who you are and the hand you've been dealt. But what I love is that this does not happen in ten pages. Nastya never really loves herself, but maybe. She learns to try to love herself after four hundred pages, and I appreciate that about her.
I know there are (and will be) readers who will dislike how much Nastya goes on and on with the self-loathing; however, that's what people who are broken do.
I bought this book at the end of last year. I started to read it, but I was upset about graduating and not knowing where I was going to be or what I would be doing or if I was going to be with John that I had to put the book down, because it's heavy.
But it's heavy in the lightest and most touching way.
So I picked the book back up this week, and I'm so glad I didn't put it down this time. There were so many times I wanted to strangle Nastya, because it took her what felt like hundreds of pages to talk, but it was well worth the wait.
Endings aren't always my favorite, because they can leave me feeling empty and confused and sad that the adventure is over, but this ending. I didn't see it coming, and I think it's interesting and lovely.
Just like the rest of Millay's words.
"I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk."
I really don't have anything to say about this sentence other than the fact that it's poetic and yes.
"Maybe one day you'll come back. Maybe you never will and that'll suck, but you can't keep doing this. The blame and the self-loathing and the bullshit. I can't watch that. It makes me hate you for hating yourself."
Here is the other part I loved about this story: I loved that Katja Millay created a boy who can admit that he is beginning to hate the girl he loves because she can't stop hating herself. I think you can love someone but hate who they are and hate who they are becoming. I'm so glad that she wrote about being truthful to yourself in a relationship. There are times that Josh wishes he hadn't met Nastya, because her sadness makes him sad, and he doesn't want to be sad and angry. And I'm glad that he realizes he can't fix her; I'm glad he realizes that she has to fix herself first. And I'm so glad that he doesn't give up on her.
“No one ever asks. Like they think they're doing me a favor. That if they don't bring it up, I won't have to think about it. Just because I don't talk about it doesn't mean I forget. I don't talk about it because no one ever asks.”
There is this part of the story where Josh says that no one ever asks about his family. When he tells people his grandparents, parents and sister have died they say they are sorry for his loss, but they never ask about them.
And it's made me more aware of how to approach this type of situation. Instead of saying we are sorry about the loss of a loved one we should ask about them. There are so many times I wish people would ask about my Grandmother. I don't mean they should ask when she died (Valentine's Day) or they should ask how or if it was hard on me. I mean ask: Who was she? What was she like? Did she laugh when she went blind? Yes. Yes she did, because she was lovely in that way. What did she like? Cabbage. Where did she travel? Everywhere. Did she ever eat lunch on the White House lawn? You better believe she did. What was her favorite joke? And I could answer all of those questions, but no one ever asks.
I'm glad I finally picked this book back up, and I'm glad I learned so much while reading it.