Reviews tagging Drug use

Alone With You in the Ether, by Olivie Blake

15 reviews

freyanjani's review against another edition

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emotional funny 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? It's complicated

5.0

This book was everything I needed. It’s one of those cup of teas that aren’t for everyone but somehow found me at a perfect time and situation. I don’t agree that this was a romance book in specifics, it’s philosophical and logical and it churned my brain in such a way that it inevitably found a way to churn my heart too.

I saw on some people’s reviews that it felt like it was written by Taylor Swift and I agree that if you’re a swiftie, you’d find themes and lines that would fit into her lyrics, and this is not to dismiss Olivie Blake’s individual style of writing—I just thought it’s a noticeable quirk.

I also heard some people saying that this book felt like seeing God, or entering the gates of heaven and hell simultaneously. Atheist that I am, I thought that statement was a glorification, and ridiculous. But after finishing it just minutes ago, I may not feel like I have seen God but rather that I now understand what some people feel about religion. This book felt religious, not in a traditional sense, but I don’t know how to elaborate it further so take it with what you will.

It’s also a beautiful rendition of mood disorders. The author said that they also suffer from this mental illness and as a diagnosed myself I can see how Regan’s mood disorder comes straight from Olivie’s own struggles, which makes it one of the most organic portrayal of bipolar that I’ve ever read. Its message does not come fully formed to be consumed at the end of the book, it needs to be understood.

To add to it, this book felt like the feeling I get over lines like “You have bewitched me, body and soul.” from Pride and Prejudice (the 2005 movie) and “You are the bane of my existence. And the object of all my desires.” from Bridgerton, but prolonged and present throughout the whole reading experience.

I wish I can give myself a concussion and acquire amnesia just to read this all over again. 

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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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jazzyiz87's review

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dark emotional hopeful reflective slow-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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mkzach's review

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

3.5


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syzygygl's review

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emotional hopeful reflective fast-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

AMAZING. PHENOMENAL. GROUNDBREAKING. SOUL CRUSHING. THIS IS A MASTERPIECE. 

It was beautifully written, the words fit so well. The pacing was great too, I did not have trouble reading it. If I wasn't busy I would've finished this in a day since its quite short (300 pages). Honestly the more I think about it the better it gets. The chemistry between the characters was VERY thick and seriously the way she wrote it made it so obvious. I love it. This warrants a reread because I feel like I could reread this book 1000 times and I would still be finding something new and amazing. 

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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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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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nathalialvs's review

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emotional 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? Yes

4.25

This was very good. Olivie Blake's writing is gorgeous, descriptive and creative, and I adored both the stylistic choices she made and the motifs that showed up as the book progressed. The story is genuinely beautiful, so full of hope and heartache, but the emotional turmoil was almost claustrophobic at times because I've lived through similar obsessive relationships. I guess this just speaks to the quality of the book, but it made me feel uneasy and, because of that, a bit detached. That got better as I reached the last pages of the book, though, and I really freaking loved the ending. 

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nightfell's review

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

3.0

This book was written for all the pretentious readers, and while I respect all the small and complex ideas discussed in this book, I just didn't care. I wanted to like this book, but I felt no emotional connection to the characters and their love story. I would equate this book to looking at a famous piece of art that is revered by everyone and knowing that it is beautiful but not feeling attached or connected to it in any way. 

The whole time I was reading this book, I couldn't understand why Regan was so infatuated with Aldo aside from her cycle of finding and dumping men. She seemed like the type of person her boyfriend, Marc, described her to be the entire book. I know he was supposed to be an antagonist, but I believed what he said about her, not in a spiteful or negative way, just as fact. I couldn't believe that she was give him the time of day, and I don't know why she was so deeply interested in him. Aldo was a cute character, but I'm not attached to him in any way, and I feel like his character was lacking in true depth. It was included towards the beginning, but neglected in favour of Regan's character arc, which was well done in an objective viewpoint but I didn't like her character as much, so I was frustrated reading. 

I much preferred the first half to the second half, as the first part had many different narrators which was interesting to read. Once Regan and Aldo became romantically involved, there were so many unn sex scenes (in my opinion). It became very repetitive to read them having sex at random times which would have been fine, if not for the weird way it was written. It followed the abstract writing style of the book which made reading the sex scenes just too much for me. 

Overall, it was good, I just didn't care.

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