Reviews tagging Drug abuse

Alone With You in the Ether, by Olivie Blake

12 reviews

potatotoes's review against another edition

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emotional reflective 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? Yes

3.25


I don’t usually write reviews but I feel like I had to, because so much of what bothered me about this book is not talked about. 

This book is about… the characters minds? Aldo is a mathematician and Regan is an artist. He is on the autism spectrum (probably, it’s never really discussed) and she has a mood disorder. 

Here are some of the things I did not like about this book: 

  • While there are many beautiful quotes so much of the story is superficial.
    Spoiler For example, in the past Regan commits forgery, gets caught and instead of going to prison gets mandated to see a psychiatrist. We never get the full picture of what she did, with who or why.
  • Spoiler Aldo mentions his past difficulties with addiction briefly. He overdosed once and was able to stop using drugs  “because his dad asked him to”. That feels like such a simplified manner to depict addiction and to me it felt like an afterthought to add backstory.
  • Spoiler Regan decides not to take her pills anymore to go back to painting… this one is tricky… As a health professional I have many mixed feelings about this.  There was very little consequence from her doing this, she was in hypomania at times but that is about it. While I am glad this was the author’s experience, I felt that writing about it in this way lacked some awareness. Bipolar is complex, so for many people it can be extremely dangerous and harmful to not use medication.
  • I enjoyed the first half of this book. The second half was dominated by Regan and I just didn’t like her that much. At the same time, I feel like after reading all of it I still can’t even describe her or what I didn’t like about her. 

This being said, the book is interesting at times, has some beautiful quotes and observations. To me it just feels a little Tumblr 2014 with some of the same romanticizations. 

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lilliii's review against another edition

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emotional 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

4.0


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gab00bee's review

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emotional 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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vigil's review

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challenging dark emotional 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? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

1.0

reading this book gave me a minimum of six migraines. i was taken on an emotional rollercoaster up and down, and up and down, and then down, down, down, down.

it is more ya purple prose than plot, dragging the reader on paragraph after paragraph of the same topic over and over and over again. this is much more prominent in the last third of the book which i found painful to read. any of the earlier chemistry that aldo and regan had is abandoned for description after description of all the times and ways they fucked in the same YA purple prose style and it didn’t mesh well. it was several sex scenes back to back and it was too many imo, and this is coming from ME, sex scene enthusiast. i mean truly. i don’t need a play by play of every single time these people had sex, (a little bit of intrigue would’ve gone a long way!) and certainly not all at once. give me some room to breathe please. just write a handful (1-3) of really good quality sex scenes, (space them out PLEASE) maybe a mention here and there, a maximum of TWO snippets and stop. this could just be my lesbianism jumping out, but i stand by my point.

in the beginning, it is written in a play-like style, with a narrator often interjecting to provide context, or to set the scene, which i enjoyed. naturally of course, this is almost immediately abandoned, then haphazardly thrown in at the end like the author forgot about it. it is very very obvious this book is self-published because it desperately needed someone with professional experience to tell her to edit. instead we got whatever this is supposed to be. 

speaking of aldo and regan, what the fuck was that? any sort of prior chemistry they have is immediately abandoned once they actually get together, for what? at least 20 pages worth of sex scenes? previously somewhat layered characters with high potential end up becoming each other's manic pixie dream girls, only to get upset when your codependent love story turns out to be hinging off someone kind of fucked up? 

though to be fair, calling aldo and regan layered is quite generous. they are a hodgepodge of mentall illness and toxic traits masquerading as a personality. (that’s harsh, i’ll admit, but not untrue.) which is fine, i’m into that, but not entirely acknowledged for what they are, and they never move beyond that. regan is clearly spiraling her way through a manic episode and aldo eats it up, calling her passionate, and impulsive. this is meant to be a story about a woman learning to live without her meds but did she really? in general that’s a kind of story that i would enjoy, but i don’t think that was shown here. at least not sustainably or desirably. regan has a habit of being what people want or tell her to be, and when she picked her art back up (in an unhealthy almost obessive way) because aldo called her and artist, i saw that trend continuing.

i understand that this is a subject important and close to the author, but that doesn’t automatically make her capable of adequately portraying it. healthy is relative sure and regan will never not be bipolar, but at some point things are just plain old unhealthy across the board, and no amount of platitudes changes that.

aldo is an entirely different beast, describing her the way a drug addict would think about coke. he even directly says she's an obsession, just like his drugs were. swapping one out for another isn't a love story, its a old and tired tale of codependency and not even the fun or interesting kind. in the last third of the book i just wished they'd go to therapy and stop wasting my time.

what’s honestly so disappointing to me about this book is that it had such high potential. i think it could’ve been  a frank and honest portrayal of what relationships are like when neurodivergent, but it went for romanticism and natterings over sense. to give blake some credit, i think that is what it tried to be in theory, but fell flat on its ass in execution.

this book needs to be edited so, so badly. it is self-published and unfortunately upholds all the negative stereotypes about self published books.

overall, i'm sick of thinking and reading this book and i'm glad its over. in the future, if i'm not invested in a book by the beginning i won't bother, and save myself from wasting my time. 

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poetry_shaman's review

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emotional funny hopeful 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

3.5


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kaitisbooknook's review

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emotional reflective medium-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

5.0

Aldo, a genius mathematician obsessed with figuring out the possibilities of time travel who is recovering from a recent overdose, and Reagan, an affluent-born former artist (and possibly criminal?) with a mood disorder collide one day in Chicago at the art institute where Regan is currently volunteering as a docent. Their initial interaction effects them both so deeply, that they agree to have six more conversations to get to know each other, a number that  is significant in many ways throughout the novel. These conversations not only allow them to know one another on a more personal level, but they also uncover secrets about themselves and how they truly feel about their world and their positions in it. 
I have not found myself so drawn to a love story in quite some time. Olivie Blake has managed to write characters who are incredibly compelling on their own, and only become more so the deeper they become intertwined with one another. With her background as a fantasy writer, she is able to frame the story in such a way that supersedes reality and moves in the otherworldly, specifically in the way she plays with time.
The narrative framing of the novel is especially intriguing, moving in a way that feels circular(or even cyclical) rather than linear, lending the story a particularly feminine feel. While told in third person, the narration is so close to the perspectives of the two main characters, at times evolving into absolute stream of consciousness, that we understand the inner workings of their minds and motivations, even when their decisions seems suspect. 
If you are a fan of gothic romances, such as Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre, I think this will be a novel you’ll enjoy, as Blake manages to evoke the same feelings of passion and longing, albeit with more likeable love interests. Her lyrical and romantic prose also more closely resembles those classic love stories than it does modern romance novels. 




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cillianmurphy's review

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

4.25


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taysa_gzd's review

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challenging emotional reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

My only critic is the word pussy popping out of nowhere after a very intimate line


I have so much to say idk how to organize it, bye

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shmandy's review

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

3.75

This is a pretentious book about art, math, time, bees & sick people loving each other while acknowledging how un-fixable they are and I adored every single second.

The writing is absolutely stunning and while I do not think the content, characters or story is for everyone I think the writing itself stands on it's own as a reason to read this book. I will be reciting different lines from this book for weeks.

I'll leave you with a few while I go pick which Olivie Blake book is going to ruin me next:

"Deities themselves had changed over time, but the act of devotion had not."

"Time is a function of lies, a trick of light, a mistranslation"

"Oddly, some people seem to have no interest in bees."

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solouncapitulomas's review

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emotional hopeful 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

5.0

“We are somewhere in the depths of time, somewhere people only dare imagine in their dreams. We are floating in dark matter. We are trapped inside a star, which is locked inside a system, which is itself a galaxy we can’t escape and we are lost to each other, to ourselves, and to the inconsequence of space.”

I do not feel like my eyes deserved to read this book but god am I thankful for it. 

This was a wonderful experience, last year I really enjoyed reading The Atlas Six and immediately wanted to call Olivie Blake one of my favorite authors, but I decided not to be so impulsive and wait until I read at least one more of her book...well I can know do whatever the hell I want bc this was an amazing experience and I am a 100% furious this book is not more loved, it deserves more attention, I cried like a hundred times while reading and it made me so happy too; many emotions were involved.

Also I am deeply offended bc I didn't know Rinaldo was half dominican, I would've read this last year if I knew, kinda random ik but it is weird to hear my nationality mentioned so I was happy af, sorry.

I was listening to Perfect Places by Lorde & ivy by Taylor Swift while writing this review

'kay, I'm out
Bye

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