i just finished reading 'a little life': now what am i supposed to do?

...really though? 😭
  1. after months of reading reviews & being told how great it is, i finally started hanya yanagihara's 'a little life' a few weeks ago.
    i was gifted a copy for my birthday. i really like this paperback version (with lispenard st on and inside) but the Internet (Instagram) has me mad that i didn't buy the hardback.
  2. (this is the first cover)
  3. everyone i know had hyped the book into oblivion which made me skeptical.
    i'm very resistant at reading things people tell me are PHENOMENAL because i'm bad at managing my expectations. it's rare i enjoy anything that arrives before me regaled in praise.
  4. and yet...
    you guys. i cannot even begin to express the experience of reading this. it was a slog, an incredibly emotionally draining experience but by god, it's been a while since i've become so invested in something, the lives of these four characters.
  5. it's not an easy read. at all.
    i had to put it down, repeatedly, and step away and give myself a break. i've lost count of how many times i've cried. it's unfathomable to even begin to get my head around going through any of what jude has dealt with and one of the best things i think the book did was convey the life-long knock-on effect those experiences have over all aspects of your day-to-day life. it felt real, believable that he would be struggling so viscerally, 10/20/30 years on.
  6. it made me think about my close friendships.
    i have three best friends, so this was inevitable. there was one quote in particular just flawed me with how appropriately it described the relationships i have with those around me:
  7. ....
    “The only trick of friendship, I think, is to find people who are better than you are—not smarter, not cooler, but kinder, and more generous, and more forgiving—and then to appreciate them for what they can teach you, and to try to listen to them when they tell you something about yourself, no matter how bad—or good—it might be, and to trust them, which is the hardest thing of all. But the best, as well."- p210
  8. i could honestly wax lyrical about all the things i loved
    aside from the relationships between the characters (& how these evolved or changed over time as all close friendships do), i liked how it negotiated such a broad time span, how it moved forward years, jumped back, gave varying perspectives. i liked how it didn't seemed to be tied to a period in time, that it was missing any specific pop-culture references that would date it and make it difficult to believe that so much time had passed.
  9. so now i'm done.
    and i'm exhausted and kind of overwhelmed, sad that it's over, already wanting to re-read, well aware is now one of my favourite books ever.
  10. 💘