My Year of Rest and Relaxation

Our narrator should be happy, shouldn’t she? She’s young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, works an easy job at a hip art gallery, lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like the rest of her needs, by her inheritance. But there is a dark and vacuous hole in her heart, and it isn’t just the loss of her parents, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her best friend, Reva. It’s the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong?

I bought this book quite a few months ago, back when it was doing the rounds on BookTube. I did mean to read it at the time but as so often happens, I just didn’t get around to reading it. I had put it on my monthly TBR on multiple occasions but in February this book finally got a chance to shine. I absolutely loved this book! I gave it 5 stars and will be keeping this book as I can see me reading it again.

The protagonist was unnamed which I really enjoyed. The story was about her and her life but it didn’t feel weird to not know her name. So much was happening that I actually didn’t realise until the end that I never knew her name. She wasn’t a likeable character: she was thoughtless, selfish, and cruel at times. She was the epitome of the ‘poor little rich girl’ but the more I read about her family life, the more I understood her as a character.

Of the additional characters, the only character that I really got to know was Reva. Reva was a pretty sympathetic character who seemed to be looking for love but in places where it wasn’t going to end well. The friendship between Reva and the narrator was so toxic but I think it was very relatable as a friendship once held with an old classmate that you probably should end but don’t.

The concept of this book really intrigued me. I have insomnia so the whole idea of sleeping for a year sounded delightful but the reality really wouldn’t be. The methods that the narrator used where quite shocking at times but made sense.

The therapist in this book was terrifying! That woman had no business being a therapist as a key part of being a good therapist is listening to people which this therapist did not do. Terrible but in a novel she was a very interesting character.

I kept forgetting that the book was set in 2000. It sort of felt timeless as if it could take place in any time period. It was the VHS tapes that kept reminding me. The narrator’s reaction to receiving a DVD player reminded me so much of how I felt when I received my first DVD player for Christmas in 2000, I also doubted that DVDs would take off which was a hilarious reminder.

This book was so compelling! I couldn’t wait to pick this book up as I was just so interested to find out what happened next. I highly recommend this book! It reminded me a little of The Bell Jar. The plots were totally different but the theme of mental health felt similar. I also thought that the melancholy nature of the protagonist made me think that way

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