Reviews tagging Dementia

The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett

182 reviews

satuhurme's review against another edition

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emotional inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.25


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spooksie's review against another edition

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challenging emotional informative medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

OMG 
THE LAST TWO CHAPTERS???? 
I AM CRYING
SOBBING 
WTF??? 

BRIT BENNETT WHY


on a more serious note, i loved this book, altough it took me a while to get into, but the ending really does hit like a truck

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bethtrigg's review against another edition

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challenging emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25


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jamiejanae_6's review against another edition

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emotional sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25


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vasha's review against another edition

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mysterious relaxing medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

This book started out not bad; the first few chapters are a depiction of the 1950s/1960s in Mallard, a very small Louisiana town inhabited by Black people who are obsessed with light skin; they introduce Desiree and Stella, twin sisters whose identities are tangled up in each other. The writing style is pleasant and unobtrusive and the story keeps moving forward. Desiree  is the protagonist of the first section, and she makes for a pretty passive one. I wish we'd seen more of her interactions with her daughter Jude (she shocked Mallard by bringing home a very dark child); that would've been about the most interesting thing about her. Her boyfriend, a traveling bounty hunter, is possibly my favorite character in the book, though, and there are some nice bits about their cautious relationship and Jude's ambiguity about accepting him. Stella, who decides to become white and hide her origins, comes to the fore later in the book; she's very unpleasant, but at least compelling to read about!

As the book went on, I liked it less and less. It's not much of a work of historical fiction: the author only evokes the most obvious, familiar cultural touchstones in the journey from the 1950s to the 1980s. And some things struck me as anachronistic. For example, some young people in the 1980s are shown unselfconsciously using the word "Negro." They were born about the same time as me; the author's twenty years younger, so let me correct her: that word was already antediluvian in the 80s. The cast of supporting characters, too, is stock, as are details of the life of a bored housewife or of a college student (frankly, the latter is completely unbelievable). 

Now, the one thing that bugged the holy hell out of me: the depiction of Jude's boyfriend Reese, who's a trans man. There is practically not one page he appears on, where him being trans, and things about his transition, aren't mentioned, and everything he's depicted doing is in relation to that. I eventually started a "drinking game": oh, Jude's going to apartment-hunt with Reese, or talk to him about her mother, or whatever; will the author bring up Reese's surgeries, scars, etc.? Yup.... This is objectivization, maybe fetishization, whatever, not good. 

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yvespiders's review against another edition

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emotional medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes

4.75

"The only difference between lying and acting was whether your audience was in on it, but it was all a performance just the same." 
 
The Vanishing Half is the perfect title for this novel. It explores the nuances of identity and the powerful impact of privilege, experienced trauma, generational trauma, social constructs around race and gender, colorism, and our country's long and ongoing history of racism (explicit, implicit, and internalized) on each individual's path in life and emotional well being. Bennett crafted each main character in a way that made me emotionally invested in each one. Even with the less likeable characters, I felt frustrated  about their choices and how they treated others. But Bennett set them up so well that I can trace back to why they ended up the way they did. 
 
I borrowed this book from my local library, but have decided to purchase it. It is the type of book that I would like to reread to catch any character details I may have missed, even if that means my heart will break again.

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jlaz_13's review against another edition

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challenging emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

2.0


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maess's review against another edition

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emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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i_read_big_boucs's review against another edition

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dark emotional funny hopeful informative inspiring mysterious sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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caitlinderocker's review against another edition

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emotional mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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