Title: The Pisces
Author: Melissa Broder
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Hogarth Press (Penguin Random House)
Published: May 1, 2018
A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
An original, imaginative, and hilarious debut novel about love, anxiety, and sea creatures, from the author of So Sad Today.
Lucy has been writing her dissertation about Sappho for thirteen years when she and Jamie break up. After she hits rock bottom in Phoenix, her Los Angeles-based sister insists Lucy housesit for the summer—her only tasks caring for a beloved diabetic dog and trying to learn to care for herself. Annika’s home is a gorgeous glass cube atop Venice Beach, but Lucy can find no peace from her misery and anxiety—not in her love addiction group therapy meetings, not in frequent Tinder meetups, not in Dominic the foxhound’s easy affection, not in ruminating on the ancient Greeks. Yet everything changes when Lucy becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer one night while sitting alone on the beach rocks.
Whip-smart, neurotically funny, sexy, and above all, fearless, The Pisces is built on a premise both sirenic and incredibly real—what happens when you think love will save you but are afraid it might also kill you.
– My Review –
I absolutely love the cover of this book! And after reading the book itself, the cover also makes symbolic sense to me, rather than just being aesthetically beautiful. Going into the book, I expected this to be a typical or cliche romance, but simply with a merman thrown into the mix. I was very wrong however. In the beginning, I really appreciated the painfully honest tone of the narrator (which is the main character, Lucy, narrating in the first person). There were some scenes that were just so real, and I burst out laughing a few times at some witty lines. Some turns of phrase I even wanted to write down because I enjoyed them so much.
About one third into the book, things started to change for me, however. I did not fully understand or like Lucy in the beginning, but assumed that she would just grow on me as the book progressed. I started disliking her more and more because of the choices she made. I told myself that she was desperate and wasn’t in full control of what she was doing, but that was just an excuse. Lucy is selfish and self-destructive to a degree that I would want nothing to do with her if she were a real person. Some of the subjects which the book talked about, and which Lucy experienced, also made me cringe and feel uncomfortable. I understand that Lucy’s past had a lot of influence on the person she was, but I was also aware that she had the opportunity to make he life better, and just chose not to. Therefore, I felt no pity for her, and definitely no amount of love. And by the end of the book, the only good feeling that I was left with was that I had learned more about the poet Sappho, about whom Lucy was writing her dissertation. I really wanted to love this book, but in the end found that it was not for me (or that maybe I’m just not equipped to appreciate it).
– About the Author –
Melissa Broder is the author of four poetry collections, including LAST SEXT (Tin House, 2016), and the essay collection SO SAD TODAY(Grand Central, 2016). Her first novel, THE PISCES, will be published by Hogarth/Crown in May 2018. Broder writes the So Sad Today column for VICE, the horoscopes for Lenny Letter, and the Beauty and Death column at Elle.com. Poems appear in POETRY, The Iowa Review, Tin House, Guernica, Fence, The Missouri Review, Denver Quarterly, et al. You can read the online ones HERE. She is the winner of a Pushcart Prize for poetry. Broder received her BA from Tufts University and her MFA from City College of New York. She lives in Los Angeles.
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