A Little Life

Grab the Tissues. A Little Life Book Review


A Little Life follows four college classmates—broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition—as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune. While their relationships, which are tinged by addiction, success, and pride, deepen over the decades, the men are held together by their devotion to the brilliant, enigmatic Jude, a man scarred by an unspeakable childhood trauma. A hymn to brotherly bonds and a masterful depiction of love in the twenty-first century, Hanya Yanagihara’s stunning novel is about the families we are born into, and those that we make for ourselves. -Description from Amazon-

If you’re very lucky, once every five or so years you will discover a book that is so masterful in scope and style that it leaves its mark on you forever. This was one of those lucky years. It is difficult for me to review A Little Life because there is so much to say that cannot possibly be said, and it leaves one grasping at the type keys for an explanation.

I can confidently say to you that this is not an easy book to read. It will not make you laugh. It will not bring sunlight into a dreary day, but instead quite the opposite. What a strange thing it is that we find such beauty in such pain. Is it the humanity of it? Is it the shadow of our own woes reflected on these pages that make it speak to us so? Pain is in these pages. But love is there also. And friendship. There is beauty here. There is the endless struggle to maintain hope in a hopeless world.

When you are ready, maybe not now, maybe not for years, pick up this book and start at page one. If you are like me, it will leave you on the floor on a pile of pillows and blankets, reaching for the nearest tissue box as you cry your heart out onto its pages. Page 739 in my case, where, if you were to open my copy, you find a definitive water mark left by one of my many tears. It will break your heart and stitch it back together again.

If I had awards to give, I would hand them out like crazy to this book. Absolutely masterful writing. I found four characters who were incarnate on those pages, relationships that felt real pain, pasts that didn’t stay history. It was beautiful. It was poignant.
Heck, I’m going to make up an award right now. I hereby award this book and author the “You Made Bex Ugly Cry” Award. (Plaque still being made)

I can’t believe I did it. It happened. I finished it. There is a legitimate tear stain on page 739, turning the word “the” into a crinkled reflection of what it once was. It’s safe to say I will soon be needing a new box of tissues. I feel as though I have just run a marathon. A marathon with a lot of crying. And I’m exhausted from all this running but I’m somehow glad I did it, like it made me better somehow, and I feel oddly as though I have accomplished something. I’m a bit speechless when it comes to describing this book to you. I don’t know if I can. All I can say is that it is a classic. It will speak to you. You will want to stop, you will want to keep going. You’ll wonder how on earth you’ll make it through, and then you will, and then you’ll leave your own tear stain on page 764, 806, or 789 for that matter. Good luck. And a sincere thank you to the author for this masterpiece. @hanyayanagihara ____________________________________________ Follow & Tag your photos #libraryofbookstagram ____________________________________________ #book #bookworm #becauseofbooks #fiction #bookish #bibliophile #bookstagram #igreads #instabooks #bookshimmy #bookworm #ilovebooks #addictedtobooks #bookaddict #booksarelife #bookpassion #bookporn #bookproblems #booklove #bookphotography #book #readabook #tbr #bookhaul #readinglist

A photo posted by Bex -Twitter: itsoutofthebex 🐦 (@outofthebex) on

Good Things

  • 10/10 Stars
  • Masterful writing
  • Perfect rendering of painful subject matter
  • Realistic characters

Bad Things

  • Intimidating Length & Difficult Subject Matter

The Breakdown

Writing Style

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