Reviews tagging Toxic friendship

Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro

24 reviews

jodieworton's review against another edition

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dark reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

First book of July and it was a good one.

This book was recommended by a good friend and have had it on my TBR for a few months. This is an adult dystopian sci-fi novel.

How this book starts is an interesting one, the narrator speaks as if the reader knows who they are and about the world they live in. You are expected to catch up. Through the first half of the book I was guessing for the plot and what was happening in their lives and how was it different to our world. 

When its revealed, there is no big ta-da moment, it’s just this is the world we live in and this is normal. I don’t want to ruin the plot for those of you who will read this book, which is why I am skirting round the point. 

The book was an easy read and written beautifully, I enjoyed how the story unfolded and at times really felt for one of the main characters. This book is complex and emotional and does raise a few questions, there was some elements that I would have liked answered in the ending, but I don’t think we are meant to know and I’m ok with that.

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angela_iseli's review against another edition

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dark emotional sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes

3.5


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rensreading's review against another edition

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challenging emotional tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? N/A
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.75

that hurted

i’m honestly not sure at all what i should say. i hated the narration style with a passion but the story really had me. i almost cried at the end. it’s the worst to be the last one in the end and i hate feeling lonely more than anything so that almost got me.

still, i’m glad kath and tommy got a chance, no matter how small it was.

i hate ruth though. she’s awful. tommy may have been in love with someone else the entire time he was with ruth but he never cheated — unlike her. ugh, that made me officially hate her. she was awful before but that was downright disgusting of her.

i also think kath is an unreliable narrator to be honest. im not sure but the way she kept explaining her memories made me think she was misremembering them for some reason. she was a little likable but i didn’t really like any of the characters if im going to be honest.

despite all of that, i’d rate this 3.75 stars (:

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sophk8's review against another edition

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dark emotional mysterious reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.25


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bootsmom3's review against another edition

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dark emotional mysterious reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.0


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dancefever's review against another edition

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emotional mysterious reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.25

oh.....my goodness this was a lot. intense, brooding, sad, mysterious... took me a while to get into the sort of conversational style its written in, but once i was in i was IN. the book somehow reminded me a bit of jane eyre? maybe the POV, the "stages" it is in, the reflection on a past life in a boarding school and the constant sense of foreboding and mystery all the way through. maybe its a personal thing but i found the whole mystery of the novel quite frustrating at times. i know that was really the point of the book, but it just felt like cathy was going to reveal a bit more every so often, and then she'd just change the subject, which left me feeling a bit short changed by all the parts that went unanswered.  like......
Spoiler if the other teenagers at the cottages weren't from hailsham, where did they come from? if they were from similar schools, why were they so mystified by the hailsham students? were the carers allowed to be part of society before being called up to being donors, or not? what is the whole system around leaving the cottages, who is the "they" who enforces the rules around carers and donors, why are we never introduced to them? i know we get reintroduced to miss emily and madame at the end, but surely there were other forces at play?
all in all a really gorgeous book: not the kind of thing i'd usually read, but would be up for reading another by ishiguro some point soon. 4.25 stars

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elefantino's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional mysterious reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0


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have_a_doris_day's review against another edition

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dark emotional mysterious reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75


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itsheyfay's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional hopeful mysterious reflective sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.5


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wellfedpages's review against another edition

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challenging dark mysterious reflective sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
Never Let Me Go or Let Tommy Go And Live Your Life Girl

How do you know you are real?

What makes someone human?

What is humanity?
Consciousness?
Soul?

If you can raise animals to slaughter, why not humans?
If not to slaughter, to use in other ways

Where is the line?

Dystopias just take reality one step further
A step we are heading towards
Perhaps a step we have already half taken

Like here

But what has that got to do with Tommy?

Well other than exploring the above dilemmas, it also shows how an unreliable narrator leads to a tinted truth

SPOILERS

We only see things through Kathy's eyes

Tommy is the good guy, even though he seeks constant validation
Ruth is the villain, because she does not care about his ego

But is that the truth?

Ruth does many careless & hurtful things
But Kathy is mean to Ruth too
So is Tommy and he hurts Ruth in his own way

But we never hear from Ruth
Or Tommy for that matter

Kathy is clearly in love with Tommy and feels Ruth came between them
Ruth admits this eventually, tries to undo the harm
But Tommy says nothing
Nobody forces someone to be with another person
Even if Ruth did come between them, why did Tommy choose to be with her? Twice
Because she is more attractive?
Or because he felt something for her?
Why does Tommy only choose Kathy after Ruth is almost dying?
And even then why are certain things amiss in their relationship?
Are they simply beaten down by life?
Or is he not attracted to her in the same way?
Does he still feel something for Ruth?
Is it guilt?
Does he choose Kathy because there is no future with Ruth?
Is Kathy his ticket to a few more years?
Does he like Kathy more because she validates him? 
Or does he just like the validation and not Kathy at all?
Does he hate Ruth because she does not validate him? 
Or does he hate himself because he doesn't know what he wants?
Is he just a selfish piece of shit, or is it more complicated than that?
Isn't he really the person who came between Kathy and Ruth?
Is Ruth a better person because she ultimately chooses her friend?
Or is it too little too late?

The mess that they make of their lives is what makes them human

Kazuo Ishiguro simply raises the questions

The answers are all ours
We are left wondering about these flawed characters.

The book beautifully captures how humanity is a murky construct, 
how we are all just tiny driftwoods clinging to each other in the endless stream of time, 
and how female friendships are incredibly fragile, especially when a man comes between them.

Sadly, the women here do not put their friendship first and dump him, that is a feminist approach I'm still waiting to see in stories like this

But perhaps women in real life rarely do that, and Ishiguro simply shows us the mirror

Even if the shell of their friendship remains, it's hollowed out by time
Perhaps that is closer to truth

Maybe there are a few Ruth's in the end
But that is the problem, it's almost always in the end

Started this for Dystopian December but completed this in Jan

Did I like it?
Of course
Confused people and complicated relationships are great, on paper

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