This book spoke to me. Katrina Kim is the most lovable, vulnerable mess of a human. I would find it concerning how much I identified with her* if I wasn’t too busy enjoying every bonkers moment of this book. I was worried as I approached the end, given how I’d lost my mind over it so far, that the ending wouldn’t do Katrina justice, but I shouldn’t have been worried. I cried happy tears and felt much resolution.
*I have OCD and she does too, but it’s more than that. I can’t explain it! Although I try down below.
The blurb for this one does not convey in any way the experience of what it is like to sink into Katrina’s story. It makes it seem more hardboiled, dramatic, and depressing, and it’s none of those things. Despite Katrina being pretty mentally ill (and in a bad place with her disabilities and neurodivergences) and the book being about her stalking someone and them stalking her back, and then her watching that person commit suicide (this is all within the first twenty pages), the book *sparkles*. There’s something about Katrina’s first-person narration that almost immediately endears her to you, and while she’s making all these messed up decisions and giving in to her terrible coping mechanisms, you absolutely cannot help but care for her. And honestly, yes, identify with her. In her specific neuroses, she is weirdly everyperson. She wants friends, she wants care and companionship, she longs for the past she gave up, and struggles knowing that it’s her own mistakes that have led her to her present unhappy circumstances. The book is also darkly funny. Katrina is funny. The situations she gets into are absurd. (The DUMPSTER SCENE, oh god.) And yet, she’s determined and smart, and she figures things out.
I picked this book up on a whim, against my normal inclinations; there was something about it that sparked enough curiosity in me to check out the available audio from Libby, and within about five minutes, my brain was fully in the world of the book, and I feel like my emotions didn’t come up for air until I finished it a couple of days later. I started annoying people with texts, and blathered on for long periods of time about it to bookish friends.
I feel like I am still barely even scratching the surface of what this book is about and why I loved it.
I will 1000% read anything else that Maria Dong writes in the future, and honestly, it will take real self-control for me not to turn right around and read my brand new purchased hardcover all over again (I need to tab all my favorite parts!!) I also apologize in advance for the next eleven months, as I’m sure I will take any chance I get to push this book on any one of you who happens to cross my path.