I cannot believe I’ve been doing it this long. I swear it feels like just yesterday I was super nervous about sharing my thoughts with the internet. What if I said something dumb? What if nothing I had to contribute was noteworthy? But the love of books won out, and here we are.

And what an interesting (read: bad) book to have line up with this anniversary.

Tallent‘s My Absolute Darling was plastered everywhere as a ‘must read’ and even authors who I respect were recommending it. I’m not sure why.

Turtle is a 14 year old girl who is living like a doomsday prep-er with her super abusive father. She’s behind in school, has no friends, is psychologically damaged in several ways, but she can clean a gun and skin a deer.

Turtle has a grandpa for a little while, there’s this boy she likes, all these adults are concerned for her. Then at one point her dad leaves for a little bit and it reads like a wilderness survival guide. Then the dad comes back and he’s got some girl who’s even younger with him from Lord knows where. And then dear old dad sets out to prove that he won’t ever be able to let her go.

That was the most abbreviated summery ever but it was either that or talk about all the horrible things that were described. Sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse. It’s really terrible to read.

But it wasn’t even the tough topics that made this such a rough read. No I didn’t love those parts, but it was the fact that Tallent didn’t do anything to elevate those real and traumatic experiences into something more.

I don’t know about y’all, but if you’re going to touch on any of those topics, much less all of them, it better be for a reason. I couldn’t find one. It seemed like he was resting on the shock value, or the ‘rawness’ of it.

Turtle wasn’t even sympathetic until the very very end. Part of it is that she’s brain washed, that’s fine. But some of it was that she was a garbage person. It also seemed pretty obvious to me that this was written by a man. Even with Turtle being a clone of her father I was like yeah, a dude wrote this.

And then it didn’t particularly seem like the other literary elements, like dialogue, description, character development, were strong enough to redeem it.

OH SNAP. And don’t get me started on the two boys. No high school guys talk like that. I don’t care that one is wealthy and the other one has a hippy for a mom, it was completely unrealistic.

So unfortunately, I would have to recommend skipping this one.


Allison, what were you listening to while your read this book?

Thank you for asking. Here are some artists I’m #into rn.

Pale Waves, Bad Suns, Louis the Child, Mura Masa, CRUISR, Wet, old Miguel, Blood Orange