Title: A Little Life
Author: Hanya Yanagihara
Would I Recommend? Yes
This is the first book that I have read by this author. Wow, I must say that this was very hard to read, but it had me wanting more. There will be spoilers in this review for sure. I thought that the author’s writing was very detailed, graphic, and descriptive. This book consists of self-harm and rape for those who are uneasy about graphic violence. I can understand why I took my time reading with book with a friend. At first, the beginning of the story was daunting and very slow. It talked about Willem, JB, Jude and Malcolm who were all friends in college and the book depicted their lives over 4 decades.
Willem, the actor, had a hard time in the beginning of his acting career. He would play roles in indie films, plays, monologues, anything in order to get himself out there. He was very popular with the women, but then started to have a liking to men. As he got older, he became famous and ended up dating Jude. He wanted the best for Jude since he has been through a lot. What I would have prefered if the entire book was about Jude, but I do like how Jude’s friends help him live his life even though they were in the dark about a lot!
JB, honestly, I did not get a lot out of his character. I do know that he was jealous of Willem being with Jude because JB was gay and had always crushed on him. His character is very saracastic with an ” asshole” type vibe, but he cared about his friends a lot.
Malcolm, was another friend that I did not really learn that much of. The story mainly was about Jude a boy who was abused his entire life whether by himself or others. He was in monestary school when his sexual abuse first started happening and a father ” Father Luke” to be exact kidnapped him and pimped him out to other men. He made Jude believe that all would be okay once he turned 16. What I didn’t like that this man repeadily raped Jude and taught him how to cut himself. This part of the story was very distrubing.
As Jude got older he did continue to be abused by others except for his friends once he was an adult and he would tell him lies about his body and the cutting until they found out ( at least about the cutting). This book made me think a lot about what peopel can really go through in their lives and how they feel no one cares or are able to help. As I was reading, I would find myself cringing when he would cut himself and always tried to kill himself. I won’t give too much away, but this book has really changed my life about how I view people. You never really know what is going on with someone truly. Jude tried his best and at most times he succeed to mask his past, but silently it always came back haunting him. The more I read, the more I wanted him to have peace and be okay. I wanted him to learn to love himself, but the happy ending did not happen, at least not the way I wanted it to. This book is powerful read and it is a must read.